*Click here to see a photo gallery of Lisa Dodd action pictures.
Collegiate softball fans, particularly those from the West Coast, are more than familiar with third-year Duck assistant coach Lisa Dodd.
The decorated former prep, collegiate and pro player extended her success as a coach in her first seasons in Eugene in 2010 and '11. Her work with the Duck infielders helped Oregon advance to its first-ever Super Regional trips, and her prowress on the recruiting trails bodes for an even brighter future.
In 2011, she helped guide the Ducks to their second-ever Super Regional trip as the NCAA Tournament's 13th seed, thanks to its best Pac-10 finish (third-tie, 11-10) since the league expanded to eight teams in 1993.
The last month of the season, UO shined with wins in nine of its last 12 league tilts and claimed its last four season series. The Ducks took three-game sets from then-No. 12 UCLA and then-No. 10 Stanford for the first time since 2005 and 2007 and ended 15- and 10-game losing streaks; claimed its first Civil War sweep of Oregon State since 1994; and took the series from eight-time national champion Arizona for only the third time in the rivalry dating back to 1984.
UO was on the national radar season all season long after it started the campaign 14th in both preseason polls. By year's end, it enjoyed a season-high ranking of 11th, thanks to 12 wins over ranked teams and 13 victories against NCAA qualifiers, and a league finish four positions higher its preseason pick.
In her first season in Eugene, Oregon fans savored a campaign in which UO beat five different teams in the 'Conference of Champions' – No. 1 Washington, No. 3 Arizona, No. 9 Arizona State, No. 13 California (3 times), OSU (2) – for the first time since topping all seven rivals in ‘04. UO's eight wins were also its most since accumulating 10 in both 2003 and '04.
Duck fans and a national TV audience also cheered UO in the NCAA Tournament's opening round to an 11-2 and 4-3 eight-inning win at eighth-seeded Georgia Tech to advance to the Columbia, Missouri Super Regional.In her prior coaching stints, she helped Nevada win the 2009 WAC Conference title, and she also served as an undergraduate assistant at UCLA in 2008 and helped the Bruins to a Pac-10 runner-up finish and a second seed in the Women's College World Series.
In 2009, the Wolf Pack were again one of the nation's top teams and finished 40-19 overall, ranked top 20 nationally and returned to the NCAA Regional for the second straight season. She worked with the Nevada infielders and assisted in hitting instruction, and as the hitting coach guided the team to top-30 national rankings in hitting (22nd, .301), slugging (23rd, .470), home runs per game (28th, 0.93) and runs per game (30th, 5.20). The explosive offense ultimately rewrote school records for home runs (55), walks (183) and stolen bases (56), and nearly broke other season marks with their totals for runs (307), triples (14) and RBI (288).
Five Nevada hitters topped .300 in '09 – catcher Noelle Micka (.361), outfielders Brittany Puzey (.356, 12 home runs), Britton Murdock (.344, 8 home runs) and third baseman Sam Bias (.309, 8 home runs) and Kim Silagyi (.303, 8 triples). Bias, Murdock and Puzey were All-Pacific Region honourees, while Silagyi was the national triples season leader. Puzey, Bias and Micka were also All-Western Athletic Conference First-Team honorees, and Silgyi was a Second-Team choice.
As a player, the San Diego native was a three-time All-Region and All-Pac-10 Conference selection for UCLA after she was chosen as the 2003 Gatorade Prep State and National Player of the Year for University City High School.
During her Bruin career, the infielder crushed 36 career home runs – eighth-most in UCLA history – and drove in 129 career runs. During her senior season in 2007, she batted .369 with 14 home runs and 49 RBI and was a NFCA Second-Team All-American, All-Pacific Region First-Team selection and All-Pac 10 First-Team honoree. She was equally impressive on the mound, and accumulated a 41-11 career record with a 1.47 earned run average, and notched 233 strikeouts in 337.2 innings. The Bruins won the national title her freshman season in 2004 in the first of three straight WCWS trips, while they also won the Pac-10 Conference crown in 2006.
After college, she played professionally in Italy in 2007 and '08, and helped her team win the 2007 European Championship and 2008 Italian Championship.
Dodd received her degree in sociology with a minor in women's studies from UCLA in 2008. Her athletic ties also include her father, Tom, who played baseball at UC Irvine.