Leopards Complete Softball Coaching Staff
July 10, 2013
EASTON, Pa. - Sara Plourde and Mary Holt have been named assistant coaches on Jexx Varner's Lafayette softball coaching staff for the 2013-14 academic year. "I'm extremely excited to welcome Sara and Mary to the Lafayette softball program. These hires speak to the vision and goals of this program moving forward," Varner said. "Their expertise and passion will quickly raise the level of play and the expectations for the coming seasons."
Plourde is a 2012 graduate of the University of Massachusetts where she earned five All-America honors in four seasons as a pitcher. In 2012, she led the nation in strikeouts, strikeouts per seven innings and fewest hits allowed per seven innings, while ranking fourth in victories with 36 and fifth in shutouts with 13. Plourde finished her career with 1,662 strikeouts, eighth all-time in Division I. The Atlantic 10 Conference Player and Pitcher of the Year in 2012, she completed her bachelor's degree from the Amherst school in Sociology.
Plourde's talents have taken her to the highest levels of softball, as she currently competes for the Canadian National Team. Plourde is also playing professional softball in the National Professional Fastpitch League, pitching for the New York/New Jersey Comets this season after spending a season with the Carolina Diamonds in Salisbury, N.C. in 2012.
The native of Bristol, Conn. also worked at Planet Fastpitch in Uxbridge, Mass for nearly a year between Sept. 2012 and May 2013. In addition to serving as the pitching coach at Lafayette, Plourde will assist with hitters, catchers, camp administration and recruiting.
"Sara's credentials speak for themselves. She is one of the great pitchers in this game over the past five to eight years and will immediately help our pitching staff succeed," Varner said. "Her championship experience, knowledge from the highest level in the sport, and enthusiasm to work and build a winner made her a perfect choice."
Holt is a 2013 graduate of Kent State University where Varner spent the past three seasons as an assistant coach. She was a three-year starter in the infield and left the program tied for sixth in career home runs. Holt earned her bachelor's degree in Business Administration and also collected Mid-American Conference All-Academic Team laurels during her collegiate career.
A native of Providence, R.I., Holt spent part of the past five years as an instructor at Planet Fastpitch. She also served as the head coach of the New England Phoenix Gold, while helping guide players through the college recruitment process.
"Mary was the kind of player this program will set out to find and develop -- hyper competitive, gritty do-anything for the team player, and someone who genuinely loves the game," Varner said. "At Lafayette she will work most closely with our infielders and hitters while also assisting with outfielders, practice planning, camp set-up and game-day strategies."