South Carolina has seen its star rise again in the collegiate softball world, and head coach Beverly Smith has guided that process in her four years as head coach. She oversees all aspects of the program and works most closely on the field with the pitchers. As a head coach, Smith's overall record is 119-109, becoming only the second Gamecock softball coach with over 100 career wins.
The 2014 edition of the Gamecocks set four more team offensive records, moving the tally under Smith to 15 team program marks either broken or re-broken by one of her squads. In per-game stats, Smith's teams now hold eight of the 16 categories tracked in the record book.
For the second-consecutive season in 2014, South Carolina played in the NCAA Tournament, going 36-22 on the year. The Gamecocks saw four individual awards come their way after finishing eighth in the Southeastern Conference, led by Ashlyn Masters' second-team NFCA All-Southeast Region accolades. She posted 15 marks in the program's single-season charts, leading the team in 10 offensive categories. Nickie Blue and Kaylea Snaer made the SEC All-Freshman Team, with Blue also garnering recognition the inaugural NFCA Division I Freshman of the Year top-25 listing. Blue tied for the nation's lead in saves, while also topping the squad in innings and appearances.
Bringing over 20 years of coaching experience to the table, Lisa Navas joined South Carolina's staff as associate head coach in July of 2012. No stranger to success, Navas links up with fellow former North Carolina assistant and current Gamecock head coach Beverly Smith after the duo spent two seasons on staff together in Chapel Hill. Navas oversees the Gamecock infielders and catchers while also assisting with all aspects of the program.
In Navas' first two years in Columbia, the Gamecocks made consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, posting a 70-47 mark during that time. Ten offensive team records have fallen in those two seasons, four in 2014. She also helped tutor starting catcher Sarah Mooney, who set a school record with 12 home runs on the year.
The 2013 Gamecocks garnered their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament in six years, going 34-25 on the year. South Carolina set six team offensive records on the season, while the defense improved its fielding percentage from the year before. Samie Garcia earned second-team All-SEC and first-team Easton All-America accolades at shortstop.
A two-time national champion player, assistant coach Calvin Beamon, in his fifth year at South Carolina, works with the Gamecock hitters and outfielders.
The Gamecock offense has set 15 new team single-season records under Beamon's guidance, including four in 2014: home runs (53), slugging percentage (.464), walks (210) and on-base percentage (.385). This marked the third year the Gamecocks set new records in round-trippers and slugging percentage.
Individual highlights included Sarah Mooney setting the new single-season mark with 12 home runs in her first year in the Garnet and Black and Kaylea Snaer earning SEC All-Freshman Team and third-team NFCA All-Southeast Region accolades. Ashlyn Masters posted 15 marks on the single-season top-15s in 2014 en route to second-team NFCA All-Southeast Region honors.