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kyleniblett

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Vann Stuedeman Returns Home to Alabama Friday  

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - New Mississippi State softball head coach Vann Stuedeman, who spent the last 11 seasons at Alabama helping the Tide reach the Women's College World Series six times while claiming three SEC titles, is returning to her hometown of Birmingham this Friday, Oct. 21, for a 6 p.m. contest against Jacksonville State at Shea Brothers Softball Complex in Irondale (500 Vulcan Drive, Irondale, Ala., 3210).

Stuedeman was born and raised in Birmingham, and made it a priority to return the second she was announced as head coach. During her tenure in Tuscaloosa, Stuedeman guided 10 pitchers to All-American honors in the past seven seasons and had at least one All-American under her tutelage for six consecutive seasons. Her pitchers combined to post a 579-149 (.795) record and tossed 22 no-hitters. The Crimson Tide ranked in the top 20 nationally in ERA five of the past six seasons and led the SEC in 2011.

On top of her return, both assistant coaches are coming home for the first time since taking the job at Mississippi State. Hitting coach Alan Reach is from Birmingham, graduated from Alabama, and before Starkville guided Tuscaloosa County High School to three state tournament berths and the AHSAA 6A Area 9 title each season. Reach also played middle infield for the Wallace Community College-Selma baseball team. Beth Mullins, the other assistant coach, was a four-year All-Conference USA starter for UAB, before coaching at UAB and breaking 15 individual and team offensive records while leading the program to its first NCAA Regional appearance. The squad also topped Conference USA in six offensive categories.

In addition to the three coaches hailing from Birmingham, three of our top players hail from the area as well. Senior Lindsey Dunlap, who was named Alabama's Gatorade Player of the Year and Alabama's Miss Softball by the Alabama Sports Writers Association, won three state championships at Hueytown High School in Hueytown, Ala. Junior Jessica Cooley was All-State and All-County at Oak Mountain High School, while sophomore Shana Sherrod was named the Birmingham News’ Top Pitcher for the South and Hoover during her high school career at Vestavia Hills High School.

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