Kristi Stefanoni, who led the softball team since the death of longtime coach Elaine Sortino last August, has been named head coach by athletic director John McCutcheon, who announced the appointment on June 28.
“We were incredibly fortunate to select Kristi from a very talented pool of candidates,” said McCutcheon. “Her ability to lead the team during a very difficult time combined with her vision to position the program for a successful future made her the clear choice during the search process.”
Stefanoni, a 2006 graduate in psychology, has been a member of the staff for eight seasons now including six as assistant coach, one as associate head coach and this past season as interim head coach following her four-year playing career.
“I am extremely honored and proud to be named the head softball coach at the University of Massachusetts,” Stefanoni said. “I want to thank John McCutcheon and the consultative committee for believing in my vision for the future of this storied program and for giving me this amazing opportunity. UMass softball is a prideful program with great tradition and I cannot wait to be part of its future.”
In 2014, UMass returned to the Atlantic 10 postseason tournament and placed three players on the all-conference teams. The Minutewomen will return 17 letter-winners and eight starters from last season, while adding three highly decorated high school players from New England and the East Coast.
Stefanoni was a co-captain for the Minutewomen her senior year. She started almost every game at second base during her last three seasons. Stefanoni compiled a career fielding percentage of .950 in nearly 500 chances.
The native of Columbus, N.J. scored 75 runs in her career while recording a .350 on-base percentage. She dropped down 24 sacrifice bunts, stole 26 bases and successfully advanced runners almost 50 percent of the time in her career. Stefanoni had 14 career doubles, two triples, one home run and 27 RBI as well as 11 multi-hit and five multi-RBI games in her career.