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Southern softball hires former Missouri and USA Softball standout Nicole Hudson as new assistant coach

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MissouriSouthern softball coach Bill Gray has announced the hiring of former Webb Cityand University of Missouri softball standout Nicole Hudson to be the Lions' newassistant coach. Hudson will start her duties with the team in January.

"NicoleHudson is one of the premier softball players in the country," Gray said."She was on the top of our list when our position became available and thefact that she is a southwest Missouri native is an added bonus. She has playedfor two of the best softball minds in the game today. With the experience shehas gained playing for coach Earlywine at Missouri and coach Erikson on thenational team, she will make a definite and immediate impact on MissouriSouthern Softball."

Hudson was afour-year starter for the Missouri Tigers after graduating from Webb City HighSchool. She finished her career at Missouri as one of the best hitters in thehistory of the program. She had 16 home runs as a senior to finish with 46 inher career, just one shy of the school record. Her .692 slugging percentage asa senior rank 11th all-time and her 16 home runs is third all-time in a singleseason. Her 44 walks were the second best all-time in a single season.Altogether, Hudson ranks in the all-time top 10 in career hits (208), doubles (48),home runs (46), at-bats (654), runs scored (151), RBI (173), sluggingpercentage (.602) and walks (143). She helped the Tigers to back-to-back tripsto the Women's College World Series in 2010 and 2011 and a Big 12 title in2011.

A three-time All-Big 12selection, Hudson was also a three-time All-Region pick and was a member of theUnited States National Softball Team that competed at the World Cup of Softballthis summer, winning a silver medal. During the tournament, she hit .500 withtwo RBIs. She also helped Team USA to the 2013 Mayor's Cup and won a gold medalin the Pan American Games where she hit .467 with a home run and six RBIs.

At Webb City,Hudson was a four-time All-State selection for the Cardinals as a pitcher. Shehelped her team to a Missouri Class 4 state title in her junior season, whileWebb City finished third in both her freshman and senior seasons. Also anAll-State selection in basketball for the Cardinals, Hudson lettered eighttimes.

"I amextremely thankful for the opportunity to begin my coaching career at MissouriSouthern," Hudson said. "I am excited to contribute my knowledge ofthe game to the program and have a positive impact on the lives of the players.And there is no better place to begin this journey than back home in southwestMissouri."

Gray saidHudson's versatility and extreme depth of experience make her an excellentaddition to the coaching staff at Southern.

"Havingpitched in high school and the collegiate level, having played in the infieldand outfield at the collegiate level and the outfield at the internationallevel gives her a vast knowledge to pass on to our players and the othermembers of our coaching staff."

CurrentLions' senior ShelbyRomines and the players are extremely happy to see the addition of Hudson.

"I wasexcited to found out that she will be our new assistant coach," Rominessaid. She has so much experience and can carry it over to our practices andgames. She has learned, been coached by and has played with some of the bestand she can relate to us as players on and off the field."

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