Holtman Stays at Central Washington as Softball Coach - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Central Washington -Softball

Holtman Stays at Central Washington as Softball Coach

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by CWU Athletics

ELLENSBURG, Wash. -- Mallory Holtman, who has spent the past seven years as either a student-athlete or graduate assistant coach with the Central Washington University softball program, has been selected as the third head coach in the history of the program at her alma mater. Making the announcement at a press conference on Friday afternoon was CWU Director of Athletics Jack Bishop.

"Mallory is a rising star in the sport of softball," Bishop said of Holtman. "She has been the face of this program (as a player and as a graduate assistant coach) for quite a long time now. She bleeds Central softball and we are very excited about the direction in which she can lead this program (as head coach) for years to come."

Holtman, 25, has been involved with the CWU program for more than one-third of its 18-year existence. The White Salmon, Wash., native spent five seasons as a student-athlete on the Wildcat squad from 2004-08 (she had a medical hardship season in 2005) and was a graduate assistant coach with the program each of the past two seasons.

"I am excited to remain in Ellensburg and to be a continued part of Central softball," Holtman said. "I have been proud to be a part of the success that has been created over the past seven years with this program, but I also look forward to leading this program into the future."

After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from CWU in 2008, Holtman enrolled in the athletic administration graduate program at Central Washington and embarked on her first collegiate coaching stint. Over the past two seasons as a graduate assistant coach for longtime Wildcat mentor Gary Frederick, Holtman was responsible for coaching the hitters, infielders, and assisted with recruiting of student-athletes. Central set school records for single-season victories both years in which Holtman coached, totaling 73 wins over the 2009 and 2010 seasons and earning the program's first-ever postseason berth this past spring. She completed requirements for her Master's degree in June.

"You cannot replace an individual like Gary Frederick," Holtman explained, "but to be able to have the opportunity to step into his shoes and continue his legacy is truly an honor."

With Holtman's influence, Central shattered the previous single-season school record for batting average (.337), runs scored (312), and home runs (50) this past season. The Wildcat defense also posted a .959 fielding percentage in 2010 -- the second-best mark in the program's history. She was also an integral part in the recruitment of three of the program's top performers from the 2010 squad in transfers Kelsey Haupert (Olympia, Wash./Black Hills HS), Samantha Petrich (Chehalis, Wash./W.F. West HS), and GNAC Pitcher of the Year Lauren Hadenfeld (Vancouver, Wash./Evergreen HS).

As a student-athlete with the Wildcats, Holtman set numerous school statistical records and capped her career by earning Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Year honors as a senior. One of only two players in conference history to earn first-team all-GNAC honors four times, she batted .365 with school-record totals of 35 home runs, 128 runs batted in, and 206 hits over the course of her playing career at CWU.

During her final season as a student-athlete, Holtman was also instrumental in putting Central Washington University and Ellensburg on the national map, when her act of sportsmanship in assisting an injured Sara Tucholsky of Western Oregon University during a game garnered national and international media attention. Holtman, former teammate Liz Wallace, and Tucholsky all received ESPY Awards in July 2008 for their involvement in the sportsmanship act.

Holtman becomes just the third head coach the program has known since becoming an intercollegiate varsity sport in 1993. Nancy Katzer coached the Wildcats for two seasons before Frederick took over coaching duties prior to the 1995 season and guided the program for the next 16 years. All three head coaches in the program's history are alumni of CWU.

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