Pittsburgh Panthers Softball
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Pittsburgh Panthers Softball
Pittsburgh Panthers
Pitt Panthers wordmark.svg
UniversityUniversity of Pittsburgh
Head coachJodi Hermanek (1st season)
Coastal Division
LocationPittsburgh, PA
Home stadiumVartabedian Field
in the Petersen Sports Complex (Capacity: 600)
ColorsBlue and Gold[1]
NCAA Tournament appearances

Pittsburgh Panthers softball is the NCAA Division I intercollegiate softball program of the University of Pittsburgh, often referred to as "Pitt", located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Pitt softball team competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference and plays their home games at Vartabedian Field in the Petersen Sports Complex.


Pitt softball player Ashley Sills at bat during the 2013 Cherry Blossom Classic

The inaugural season of Pitt softball was in 1998 with the program guided by its first head coach, Michelle Phalen.[2] The program competed as an independent during its first season in NCAA Division I and then played in the Big East Conference from 1999 to 2013. Phalen guided the program to its first winning season (31-27) and first Big East Tournament appearance[3] in 2006 as well as its first season over .500 in Big East play (12-10) in 2008,[4] a year that saw Pitt upset multiple nationally ranked teams.[5] In 2009, Holly Aprile, and assistant coach in charge of pitchers and catchers under Phalen,[6] took over as the head coach of the program.[7] April began her tenure by leading the team to three consecutive winning seasons,[8] a first for the program to that point, and led the 2011 team to a single season school record of 34 wins[9] that included a victory over national ranked Georgia Tech.[10] On July 1, 2013, Pitt moved to the Atlantic Coast Conference.[11] In 2015, Pitt reached the ACC Softball Tournament championship game and earned the program's first NCAA tournament appearance on way to an appearance in the Regional Final and a program best 37-22 record. In 2017, after a 5-0 start to the season, Pitt received the first national ranking in the program's history.[12] Pitt won its first ACC Coastal Division championship in 2018.[13] In August 2018, former Ohio head coach Jodi Hermanek was announced[14] as the Panthers' new head coach following Holly Aprile's departure to become head coach at Louisville.[15]

Vartabedian Field

The team's home field includes the 600-seat Vartabedian Field, a softball ballpark that is part of the Petersen Sports Complex on the University of Pittsburgh campus that open for the 2010-11 school year. Vartabedian Field features a skinned infield with an artificial grass outfield. The stadium includes team dugouts, hitting and pitching practice areas, lighting, and a press box.[16] The first softball game played at Vartabedian Field was a 2-1 Pitt victory over Penn State on March 29, 2011.[17] Prior to the program moving into the Petersen Sports Complex and Vartabedian Field, the team played home games at Trees Field on the Pitt campus.[18]

Current coaching staff

  • Jodi Hermanek - Head Coach
  • Jillian Van Wagnen- Assistant Coach
  • Brock Van Faussien- Assistant Coach
  • Maddy Grimm- Volunteer Assistant Coach

Conference championships

ACC Coastal Division

  • 2018

Conference honors

The entrance and ticket window of the Petersen Sports Complex, home of Pitt softball's Vartabedian Field

During Pitt's time as a member of the Big East Conference, Pitt players garnered 20 All-Big East selections including five First Team All-Big East selections. Two Panthers have also received ECAC All-Star status.[19] Numerous players have also won Big East Player of the Week and Pitcher of the Week honors.[20]

  • Big East Rookie of the Year
Tori Nirschl, 2013[21]
  • Big East First Team All-Conference[19]
Francesca DiMaria, 2003, 2005
Joey Scarf, 2006
Jessica Dignon, 2008
Samantha Card, 2008
  • Atlantic Coast Conference First Team All-Conference
Jenna Modic, 2015
Erin Hershman, 2016
Giorgiana Zeremenko, 2018
Olivia Gray, 2018
  • Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year
Holly Aprile, 2018[22]

NCAA tournament results

The Panthers have appeared in the NCAA Tournament one time. Their combined record is 2-2.

Year Seed Round Opponent Result
2015 Regional

L 3-11
W 6-3
W 6-3
L 3-10

No-hitters and perfect games

The following ten no-hitters have been thrown by Pitt pitchers over the program's history. There have been two perfect games thrown which are designated by bold.[23]

  • March 11, 2000 Gina Bessolo vs Colgate (won 8-0)
  • April 7, 2001 Gina Bessolo at Syracuse (won 2-0)
  • March 16, 2002 Nikki Gasti vs Jacksonville State (won 2-0)
  • April 3, 2002 Gina Bessolo vs Youngstown State (won 10-0)
  • February 23, 2003 Nikki Gasti at UNC-Charlotte (won 1-0)
  • April 5, 2008 Kayla Zinger vs Connecticut (won 1-0)
  • March 30, 2010 Alyssa O'Connell vs St. Francis (won 9-0)
  • March 26, 2011 Cory Berliner at Seton Hall (won 9-0)
  • February 27, 2016 Sarah Dawson vs. Providence (won 13-0)[24]
  • February 6, 2017 Kayla Harris vs. Southeastern Louisiana (won 5-0)[25]

Professional softball

Two former Panthers have played softball professionally in the National Pro Fastpitch league.[26]

See also


  1. ^ Color Palette (PDF). Pitt Athletics Brand Identity Manual. April 9, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  2. ^ "Pitt Picks USC's Phalen To Head Softball Program". The State. Columbia, South Carolina. July 18, 1997. Retrieved 2013.
  3. ^ Greer, Jeff (March 13, 2008). "Baldwin High graduate helps Pitt softball team improve". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2013.
  4. ^ Pitt Softball Record Book (PDF). Pittsburgh Panthers Athletics. 2013. pp. 9-11. Retrieved 2013.
  5. ^ Fittipaldo, Ray (May 7, 2008). "Pitt Softball: In its 11th year, team a Big East contender". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2013.
  6. ^ Mackall, Dave (August 12, 2008). "Coaching carousel". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved 2013.
  7. ^ Mackall, Dave (February 17, 2009). "Pitt softball coach earns first victory". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved 2013.
  8. ^ Sepich, RJ (February 22, 2012). "Softball: Pitt coach helps program grow". The Pitt News. Pittsburgh, PA. Retrieved 2013.
  9. ^ "Holly Aprile". PittsburghPanthers.com. Retrieved 2013.
  10. ^ Billson, Marky (March 24, 2011). "Trinity grad plays major role in Pitt's move up in stature". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2013.
  11. ^ Fittipaldo, Ray (October 2, 2011). "Pitt expects non-revenue sports to benefit from ACC move". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2013.
  12. ^ DiPaola, Jerry (February 15, 2017). "Pitt softball team enjoying strong start, first ranking in program history". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Pittsburgh, PA. Retrieved 2017.
  13. ^ "Pitt Clinches ACC Coastal Division with Win over Louisville". PittsburghPanthers.com. May 4, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  14. ^ "Jodi Hermanek Bio". PittsburghPanthers.com. August 7, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ "Holly Aprile Named Softball Coach". GoCards.com. July 16, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  16. ^ The Olympic Sports Complex: Only Big Dreams (PDF), University of Pittsburgh, 2009, retrieved
  17. ^ "Berliners Becomes All-Time Winningest Pitcher At Pitt". PittsburghPanthers.com. 2011-03-29. Retrieved .
  18. ^ Dunlap, Colin (May 28, 2007). "New plans let non-revenue sports think big". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2013.
  19. ^ a b Pitt Softball Record Book (PDF). Pittsburgh Panthers Athletics. 2013. p. 8. Retrieved 2013.
  20. ^ "Baldwin grad lifts Pitt softball team". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. May 3, 2007. Retrieved 2013.
  21. ^ "Softball's Tori Nirschl Named Big East Rookie of the Year". PittsburghPanthers.com. May 8, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  22. ^ DiPaola, Jerry (May 8, 2018). "Pitt's Holly Aprile named ACC softball coach of the year". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved 2018.
  23. ^ Pitt Softball Record Book (PDF). Pittsburgh Panthers Athletics. 2013. p. 7. Retrieved 2013.
  24. ^ Quattrucci, John (March 19, 2016). "College softball: Former Bridgewater-Raynham great Sarah Dawson off to great start at Pitt". The Enterprise. Brockton, MA. Retrieved 2017.
  25. ^ Meyer, Craig (February 26, 2017). "Kayla Harris throws second perfect game in Pitt softball history". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2017.
  26. ^ "All-Time Player List". National Pro Fastpitch. Archived from the original on May 25, 2013. Retrieved 2013.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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