COLUMBIA, MO -- Point Loma Nazarene head coach Dave Williams and assistant coaches LeeAnn Taylor and Suzi Wetzel have been named the 2002 Speedline/NFCA NAIA National Coaching Staff of the Year.

Williams, Taylor and Wetzel guided Point Loma Nazarene to a runner-up finish at the 2002 NAIA national championship, the Crusaders' highest-ever national finish. After a first-round loss, Point Loma Nazarene won eight consecutive games, including a victory over eventual national champion Oklahoma City before falling in eight innings in the title game. The Crusaders finished with a record of 58-10. Pitcher Miranda VanDerVoort, catcher Autumn Yanez and shortstop Cheryl Bolding were all named to the Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-American first team.

The Point Loma Nazarene staff was selected by its peers as the Speedline NAIA West Region Coaching Staff of the Year and was then placed on the national coaching staff of the year ballot. They will be recognized as the 2002 Speedline/NFCA NAIA National Coaching Staff of the Year at the NFCA National Convention in St. Petersburg, Florida, in December.

Other Speedline top regional coaching staffs, as selected by their coaching peers, are:

East Region -- Thomas University (Ga.)
Thomas Macera, Head Coach

Thomas finished as the runner-up at the Region XIII championship, coming within one win of reaching the NAIA National Championship. The Night Hawks posted a 40-10 record and was ranked as high as No. 18 in the NAIA Top 25 rating. Outfielders Karen Pike (first team) and Jennifer Koch (second team) earned Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-American honors.

Great Lakes Region -- Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.)
Ritchie Richardson, Head Coach
Kristin Vanderlaan, Assistant

Olivet Nazarene posted a 46-13 record and finished third in the Region VII tournament. The Tigers were ranked No. 15 in the final NAIA Top 25 rating. Olivet Nazarene captured the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship. Pitcher Jenni Hornok, catcher Sarah Raymond and first baseman Laura Gidcumb were named to the NFCA All-Great Lakes Region first team.

Midwest Region -- Columbia College (Mo.)
Wendy Spratt, Head Coach
Natalie Buitink and Jim Talbert, Assistants

Columbia posted a 45-15 record and won the Region V championship to advance to the NAIA National Championship. The Cougars posted a 4-0 mark at regionals, outscoring their opponents 24-6. Columbia, which also won the American Midwest Conference championship, was the No. 6 seed at nationals. Pitcher Jayne Miller earned Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-American first team honors.

Southwest Region -- Oklahoma Baptist University
Pam Fink, Head Coach
Tom McLauchlin, Assistant

Oklahoma Baptist finished fourth at the NAIA National Championship, marking the Lady Bison's first national finals appearance since 1982. Oklahoma Baptist finished the season with a 42-13 record, including a 3-2 mark at nationals. The seventh-seeded Lady Bison posted wins over No. 3 Union and No. 4 Mobile at nationals. Second baseman Kayla Hubbard was named to the Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-American second team.

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