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Pitt State Names New Head Softball Coach - KOAM TV 7

Pitt State Names New Head Softball Coach

Updated:

RELEASE FROM PITTSBURG STATE ATHLETICS:

PITTSBURG — Pittsburg State University athletic director Jim Johnson announced today (July 25) the hiring of Ashley Balazs (buh-LAZ) as head softball coach for the Gorillas.
 
She replaces former head coach Elizabeth Economon, who left PSU in late June for an assistant coach position at NCAA Division I member Wichita State University.
 
"I am excited to have Ashley join the Gorilla family as our head softball coach," Johnson said. "Success has followed Ashley in her previous coaching assignments and we feel confident she is the right person to help lead our softball program moving forward."
 
Balazs comes to Pitt State after spending three seasons as assistant coach at NCAA Division I member Evansville University in Evansville, Ind. She played a key role in recruiting, hitter development and scouting for the Purple Aces. The Evansville staff earned 2016 Missouri Valley Conference Coaching Staff of the Year honors and the Purple Aces finished in the top five in conference play for the first time since 2007 this past season in 2017.
 
Balazs went to Evansville after spending the 2014 season as the head coach at Viterbo University in LaCrosse, Wis.  In a short time frame, she made a significant impact, improving the squad by 12 wins from 2013.  She also led the team to a 108-run improvement in run differential while coaching three All-Conference players.

"I would like to thank President Scott, Athletic Director Jim Johnson and the search committee for the opportunity to be the next head coach at Pitt State," Balazs said. "Being a head coach at the Division II level has always been a goal of mine and I am fortunate to land at a university and athletic department with so much to offer its student-athletes. It's an exciting time to be a part of Gorilla Nation and I am eager to hit the ground running with the team.
 
"My entire career I've been fortunate to be surrounded by amazing mentors who prepared me to lead this program.  I would like to thank Coach Mundell and Coach Frost for believing in me and allowing me to grow. Without you this would not be possible.
 
"This is not only a great step in my career but I am excited to return closer to my family. Thank you for supporting me throughout my career endeavors to become a head coach again."
 
Prior to Viterbo, Balazs spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at NCAA Division II member University of Indianapolis.  She coached two Great Lakes Valley Conference Freshmen of the Year, two Player of the Year winners, three first-team All-Americans as well as a Pitcher of the Year in the GLVC. 
 
In each of those years, UIndy was ranked in the top two in the nation entering postseason play and advanced to the NCAA-II Super Regionals in 2013.  She was part of a coaching staff that was named the GLVC and Midwest Region Coaching Staff of the Year in 2012 and 2013.
 
Balazs, a Lenexa, Kan., native who prepped at Shawnee Mission West High School, started all four years of her college career as a catcher or an outfielder at NCAA Division II member Drury University. In addition to being an Academic All-GLVC honoree, Balazs finished her playing career ranked first in Drury history in six offensive categories:  hits (171), RBIs (92, tie), doubles (34), total bases (228), walks (60, tie) and at-bats (665).

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