After posting its first 50-win season in school history, the UCF softball coaching staff was named the 2015 Co-Mideast Region Coaching Staff of the Year by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association on Wednesday.

Head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie, assistant coaches Tiffany Patteson and Hillary Barrow and volunteer coach Jeff Conrad, guided the Knights to both the AAC regular-season and tournament title.

It was UCF's second straight regular season title in the AAC and its first conference tournament title since 2008.

While Luers-Gillispie's team qualified for a second consecutive regional appearance – earning the No. 2 seed in the Tallahassee Regional – their season ended shortly after falling to top-seeded Florida State in the regional final.

UCF's pitching staff held the lowest earned run average in the country (0.97). At season's end, senior pitcher Mackenzie Audas and junior pitcher Shelby Turnier became the first two Knights to receive All-America honors for softball after setting record-breaking performances this season.

Turnier led the nation with a 0.87 ERA while Audas finished second with a 0.95 ERA.

Offensively, the Knights raised their batting average up to a program-best .292 while striking 39 home runs – the most in a single season since 2005.

Defensively, the team's .979 fielding percentage ranked second best in the nation, surrendering only 32 errors in 59 games.

The Knights finished as the No. 16 team in the country in all, USA Today and NCAA RPI rankings, and had eight players selected all-conference.

The UCF softball coaching staff was also selected unanimously to repeat as The American's Coaching Staff of the Year earlier this season.

Western Kentucky University joins UCF as the other Mideast Region selection.


Brian Goins is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow him on Twitter at @byBrianGoins or email him at