LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), on Tuesday, announced the six programs that have been chosen by their peers as the 2017 NFCA Regional Coaching Staffs of the Year at the NAIA level.
Bellevue was chosen to represent the Central Region while the other staffs chosen to represent their region were Brenau (East), Marian (Great Lakes), Columbia (Midwest), Oklahoma City (Southwest), and Southern Oregon (West).
This year's coaching staff was head up by seventh-year head coach Michala Cimino. She was assisted by Kelly Cheshier, Jeanne Scarpello, and Aimee Supanchick.
In 2017 Bellevue met or exceeded all external expectations for their season. After being pegged to finish third in the NSAA Preseason Coaches' Poll Bellevue reeled off a 50-win campaign (against just 16 losses) including a 20-6 mark in league play to claim the NSAA Regular Season Championship.
In the postseason Bellevue cruised through their bracket and into the conference championship round where they played an epic series with Jamestown. BU was chosen as an at-large selection for the NAIA National Tournament. It was the sixth time in the last eight seasons that Bellevue qualified for the Opening Round.
For their efforts this season, the Bruins finished the year ranked No. 23 in the final NAIA Coaches' Poll. At the Opening Round Bellevue defeated Simpson to earn their ninth National Tournament victory all-time advance to a showdown with wire-to-wire No. 1 Oklahoma City where they hung tough for much of the game.
The Bruins swept all the major conference awards with Michala Cimino (Coach of the Year), Erin Sharpe (Player of the Year), Kelli Fisher (Pitcher of the Year), and Hannah Carter (Newcomer of the Year) all taking home hardware.