UTEP softball head coach Tobin Echo-Hawk announced the addition of one of the top pitchers in NCAA history Sara Plourde to the coaching staff.
Plourde will serve as the pitching coach and will assume her responsibilities on July 15.
"We are excited to have coach Plourde join our staff,” Echo-Hawk said. “Her collegiate career speaks for itself. She brings with her a tremendous amount of experience and success on the field. We are looking forward to her helping our pitchers grow and challenging them to be better."
Previously, Plourde served as the first assistant/pitching coach at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. during the 2013 season.
Plourde, a graduate of the University of Massachusetts in May 2012, concluded her career with 1,662 strikeouts to rank eighth all-time in the Division I record book, while leading the nation in strikeouts during the 2010, 2011, 2012 seasons. Plourde forged 109-35 career record and hurled 14no-hitters for the Minutewomen. In four seasons, Plourde was a five-time All-American. She also appeared in three NCAA Regionals, was part of three conference championship teams, while earning the 2012 Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
The Bristol, Conn. native, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Elementary Education.
After a successful collegiate career, Plourde took hertalents to the professional level with the Carolina Diamonds of the National Pro Fastpitch league. The Diamonds drafted Plourde in March 2012, as she threw in the circle during the 2012 campaign. Plourde, with eight other Diamonds,signed a contract with the expansion New York/New Jersey Comets for the 2013 season.
On top of pitching professionally, Plourde is a current and two-time member of the Canadian National Team, while starting in the circle on July 10 against the U.S. National Team at the General Tire World Cup of Softball. She started competition with Team Canada in June 2013. Her squad placed second at the 2013 Pan-America Tournament in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Plourde applied for dual citizenship in June 2012, which was granted in January 2013. Her mother was born and raised in New Brunswick, Quebec, before moving to the United States.
Plourde’s coaching experience commenced at Amherst College during a coaching internship from October-December 2010 through 2011. She also was an instructor at Planet Fastpitch, located in Uxbridge, Mass. from September 2012-May 2013.
At Bristol Eastern High School, Plourde was part of two volleyball state championship teams (2006 & 2007) and a softball state championship team in 2008.