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August 16, 2001

Kunkle named softball head coach

The University of Southern Indiana has named Sue Kunkle as its new head softball coach. Kunkle replaces Beth Watson who accepted a position at the University of Central Florida.

Kunkle helped to develop some of The University of Akron's best hurlers, including 1998 UA Female Athlete of the Year Shelby Howell (1995-1998). Kunkle was responsible for recruiting and coordinating the team's travel arrangements. Her duties also included organizing the Zips camps and clinics, the Dugout Club, and alumni relations.

Prior to her tenure at Akron, Kunkle began her coaching career as a volunteer assistant at California University of Pennsylvania. She gained a year of coaching experience at Morehead State University in Kentucky, before being named assistant coach at Bethel Park.

A four-year starter at California, Kunkle became the winningest pitcher in school history with a career record of 54-12 from 1990-94. The Vulcans earned PSAC West Championships in Kunkle’s last three seasons, and were the conference’s overall champs in 1991. An All-Region pitcher as a junior, she earned All-Conference and All-Regional Tournament honors as a senior, while leading her team to a regional championship and California's first-ever appearance in the Division II College World Series.

Kunkle earned a bachelor's degree in education from California in 1994. She received her master's in sports science and coaching at The University of Akron this past May.

USI Athletic Director Steve Newton said, "We are eager to see Coach Kunkle continue the excitement this program has generated the last few seasons. She has demonstrated the ability to teach the game and place her student athletes in a position to succeed on the field.”

The Screaming Eagles finished 36-17 a year ago, placed third in the Great Lakes Valley Conference regular season at 16-6, and placed fourth in the GLVC Tournament. USI will return 14 of 16 players in 2002.

Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information

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