Images of the Cardinals during a run to another BIG EAST championship.
Sandy Pearsall just completed her 14th season as the head coach of the University of Louisville softball program. After building the program from scratch in 2000, Pearsall has guided the Cardinals to five conference championships, 10 consecutive NCAA regional appearances and served as a host site in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
In the 2013 season, Pearsall led the Cardinals to a 47-13 overall record, marking the eighth time Louisville has recorded 40 or more wins and the 10th straight season with 30 or more wins. The Cards reached several milestones in 2013 including tying program highs in the national coaches polls, appearing at No. 7 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll and No. 8 in the USA Today/NFCA poll - they went on to spend four weeks among the nation's top 10. Louisville also posted its first win over a top-ranked team when it defeated No. 1 Oklahoma 5-1 in Norman and remained one of only four teams to beat the eventual national champion.
The 2012 Cardinals posted the best season in program history after producing a 55-5 record, winning the BIG EAST regular season and tournament titles. Louisville notched a 20-2 mark in BIG EAST Conference play en route to winning the league title and earning BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year honors. They also went on to win the BIG EAST tournament, becoming the first team to win both the regular season and the tournament since Notre Dame in 2003.
The 2012 Cardinals earned a No. 15 seed in the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history. Louisville entered the tournament ranked No. 7 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball coaches poll and No. 9 in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association rankings. After reaching the top 10 for the first time in program history, they spent the final five weeks there.
In 2011, Pearsall guided the Cards to a 38-20 record in 2011. Louisville finished runner-up in the BIG EAST Conference tournament and hosted an NCAA regional for the second time in three years.
The 2010 campaign in which the Cards posted a 41-19 overall record. The Cards advanced to the finals of their seventh NCAA regional but fell to eventual Women's College World Series participant Tennessee in Knoxville. Louisville was runner-up in the 2010 BIG EAST Conference championship behind performances from 2010 BIG EAST Player of the Year Chelsea Bemis and two-time All-America selection Melissa Roth. Award Winning Players on the Field...
Under Pearsall's guidance, the Cardinals have placed 82 selections to league teams (27 All-Conference USA/55 BIG EAST), including two Players of the Year (Melissa Roth -2009, Chelsea Bemis - 2010), two league Pitchers of the Year (Catherine Bishop - BIG EAST, 2006/Aja Sherman, C-USA, 2005), MVP (Courtney Moore - C-USA, 2005), and Freshman of the Year (Audrey Rendon - C-USA, 2004).
In 2006, Lacy Wood became U of L's first softball All-American, earning third team honors. Kristen Wadwell (2009) and Melissa Roth joined the All-America ranks with Roth earning the honor twice (2009 and 2010). Tori Collins and Taner Fowler became the fourth and fifth players to earn All-America honors in 2012. Alicja Wolny and Katie Keller joined the list when they were named second team All-American's in 2013.
The Cardinals have placed 23 players on NFCA Regional teams and Shannon Nord was named to the 2004 NCAA regional tournament team in Louisville's first appearance. Before her time at U of L...
Pearsall came to U of L after a six-year stint as head coach at Miami University (Ohio). She was tapped to start the softball program at the University of Louisville and brought with her both head coaching experience and program building expertise. She helped christen U of L's Ulmer Stadium with a winning season and earned 2000 Conference USA Coach of the Year honors along the way.
Pearsall was inducted into the Miami University Cradle of Coaches Association in the fall of 2012, joining: Randy Ayers, Thad Matta, Joe Novak and Sue Ramsey to comprise the Cradle of Coaches Class of 2012-13. The Cradle of Coaches Association was established in 1971 to acknowledge the role Miamians have played in establishing Miami University as the Cradle of Coaches.
Prior to her stint in Oxford, Ohio, Pearsall spent three seasons as head coach at Colorado State, where she posted a 78-68 mark. While at CSU, she was successful in developing the Rams into an annual contender for the Western Athletic Conference championship. Her 1990 squad captured the league title and earned Pearsall Conference Coach of the Year honors.
This is not the first time Pearsall has been asked to build a program from the ground up. In 1988, she headed the newly-formed Florida A&M team and led the squad to 36 wins in two seasons. Prior to FAMU, she took the University of San Francisco softball team from the cellar of the conference to second place in just three years. Her efforts did not go unnoticed as she earned NorPac Conference Coach of the Year honors.
Pearsall began her coaching career as the outfield coach at the University of the Pacific. In her two seasons there, she coached a pair of All-America honorees. As a part of the 1984 team, Pearsall was inducted into the Pacific Hall of Fame for the team's fifth place finish at nationals, the best finish in UOP history. She was inducted into the Stockton Hall of Fame in 2003. Her Playing Days
As a player at Oregon State, Pearsall earned all-region outstanding outfielder and defensive honors and served as team captain in 1983. She played for two years in Women's AA ball, where she was named to seven all-tournament teams. She played six years in the Women's Open Division and was named to 16 all-tournament teams and made five national appearances.
Pearsall remains active in her sport at a national level as well. She has served on the All-America Selection Committee, the NCAA West Regional Ranking Committee, the Mid-American Softball Executive Committee as well as her membership in the National Softball Coaches Association and the ASA Northern California Umpire Association. She has coached at NCAA YES Clinics and various camps helping to develop the sport of fastpitch. In 2003, she worked for CSTV, serving as the color analyst for the C-USA Championship game.
Pearsall's fileCoaching Career
2000- present- University of Louisville (553-274/.669); 803-608/.569 overall) 2013 - 47-13, 18-4 BIG EAST; NCAA Regional (1-2)
- U of L earns No. 15 overall seed in NCAA tournament, selected as regional host
2012 - 55-5, 20-2 BIG EAST; NCAA Regional (2-2)
- U of L wins BIG EAST regular season and tournament; Earns No. 15 overall seed in NCAA tournament, selected as regional host - BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year - NFCA Great Lakes Region Coaching Staff of the Year
- Inducted into Miami University Cradle of Coaches Association 2011 - 38-20, 12-7 BIG EAST; NCAA Regional (2-2) 2010 - 41-19, 16-6 BIG EAST; NCAA Regional (2-2); BIG EAST Tournament runner-up 2009 - 48-11, 19-5 BIG EAST; NCAA Regional (1-2) 2008 - 31-23, 12-8 BIG EAST; NCAA Regional (1-2) 2007 - 37-25, 14-6 BIG EAST - Tournament champions; NCAA Regional (1-2) 2006 - 45-11, 19-3 BIG EAST
- U of L wins BIG EAST regular season, tournament runner-up; earns NCAA berth, advanced to regional final BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year 2005 - 43-20, 20-4 C-USA
- U of L wins C-USA regular season; earns NCAA berth 2004 - 41-19, 19-5 C-USA
- U of L makes first NCAA appearance; finishes second in C-USA 2003 - 24-26, 12-11 C-USA 2002 - 27-28, 11-10 C-USA 2001 - 40-26, 12-9 C-USA 2000 - 36-26, 8-8 C-USA - C-USA Coach of the Year 1992-98 - @ Miami University (Ohio) 1989-91 - @ Colorado State 1990- Wins Western Athletic Conference Championship - WAC Coach of the Year 1988-90 - @ Florida A&M 1985-88 - @ San Francisco - NorPac Coach of the Year 1984-85 - @ Pacific - Named to Pacific Hall of Fame (2003) Playing Career
Oregon State - 1982-84