Incoming Texas A&M-Corpus Christi softball pitching coach Lisa Norris received the Diamond Sports Pitcher of the Year award from the National Pro Fastpitch league on Thursday. Norris plays for the Akron Racers in the NPF.
Norris led the NPF with 14 wins this season and was second in strikeouts with 126 and ERA at 1.73 at the end of the regular season. She had 16 complete games and four shutouts while tossing 137.2 innings to lead the league in all three categories.
She was also named to the All-NPF team for the second year in-a-row after making the team as a rookie last season.
Norris spent last season as a student assistant on the North Carolina staff after a very successful career for the Tar Heels. She recorded 78 wins in her collegiate career, third-most in school history, while striking out 808 batters, good for second all-time in UNC history.
She will join the coaching staff this year and work with the pitchers as the Islanders look to compete for a Southland Conference title. The team dominated the league in offense last season and look to add a pitching staff to match under the instruction of Norris.
"After last year, we assessed our season and I thought a major hole was in our coaching staff," said Islanders head coach Jake Schumann. "We needed somebody to specialize in pitching.
"Anytime that you bring somebody that has the experience and success she has, you hope you can parlay that into quality recruits in the circle."
In addition to Norris, another player with ties to the University was also named to the team. Former Islanders pitching great Sarah Pauly was also named to the team as a pitcher from the USSSA Pride.
The Pride and the Racers squared off in the first round of the NPF Championship Playoffs with the Pride taking a 2-1 series win. Pauly helped secure the victory for the Pride in game one of the series while Norris absorbed the loss. The Racers battled back on Friday to even the matchup at one game apiece before the Pride took a 6-1 win to clinch the series.
The win for the Pride means that Pauly will be taking part in the finals of the Championship Series for the fifth-straight year.