6/16/2014 - Angelina College Softball Coaches, Players Earn National Recognition
For most of the NJCAA World Series held last month in St. George, Utah, Angelina College Lady Roadrunner head coach Mark Mattson confined his assistant coach to the dugout, refusing to allow her on the field.
He had a good reason for putting such restrictions on his cohort. Barbara Mattson, the assistant, happens to be his wife – and she was nearly nine months pregnant, mere days away from delivering their third child. Mark wasn’t taking any chances on a stray foul ball landing near her precious cargo.
Pregnancy was the only thing keeping Barbara off the diamond. For the majority of the season, she and husband Mark teamed up on the decision-making necessary to lead the Lady Roadrunners to the national title – the first for a Texas team in NJCAA’s Division I, and the first national championship for an AC athletics team in the school’s 46-year history.
Their efforts didn’t go unnoticed: This week, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association named the Mattsons the National and Regional Coaching Staff of the Year for the 2014 season.
NFCA also recognized several of the Lady Roadrunner players: Pitcher Gia Johns and third baseman Kassie James earned Third-Team All-American honors, as well as First Team All-Region, Midwest Division accolades. Outfielder Katelyn Barker and Designated Player Meranda Rodriguez made the 2nd Team All-Region list.
Under the Mattson’s guidance, the Lady Roadrunners finished the season with a 42-12 record, 61 home runs and a certain nod to the upcoming Academic All-American list with a team-wide 3.3 GPA.