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Jennifer Abrams comes to Penn State from Seton Hall
With just a little over a week until the first game, Penn State assistant softball coaches Megan Gibson and Joe Guthrie are more than ready for the team's season opener
Megan Gibson and Joe Guthrie sat down with GoPSUsports.com
Head coach Amanda Lehotak names experienced staff
Under Guthrie's tutelage, Lexi Kneif led the team with a .417 batting average en route to earning Second Team All-Big Ten honors and NFCA All-Region accolades, while her 75 hits in a single season set a Penn State record. Also earning Second Team All-Big Ten honors in 2015 was Macy Jones, who batted .343 in the 2015 campaign and tied for a team-high 46 RBI. As a team, Penn State broke five single season hitting records including: doubles (73), home runs (46), runs (287), RBI (267) and total bases (678). Furthermore, the 2015 Nittany Lions posted a .296 batting average, which ties for a program-high, while their 449 hits rank second in Penn State laurels. Penn State also had five individuals rank in the Nittany Lion softball top-10 in 10 seperate hitting categories and four rank in the top-10 in the Big Ten Conference.
Penn State set a NCAA record when it hit two grand slams in one inning against Wisconsin, Apr. 3, while Alyssa VanDerveer hit three grand slams in 2015, which ties for third in NCAA history. The Nittany Lions posted a 12-game streak with 10 or more hits and 11-straight games with at least one home run.
Under his direction in 2014, the Lions belted a total of 13 home runs and amassed 304 total hits, 75 of which were for extra bases. Penn State batters also knocked in 153 RBI and scored 159 runs, while swiping 20 bags in 22 attempts. A busy off-season for Guthrie culminated in the fall of 2014 with Penn State claiming the 17th best recruiting class in the nation as ranked by Full Count Softball. The half dozen recruits featured two nationally ranked players with No's. 28 and 36 slated to call Happy Valley home in 2016.
BEFORE PENN STATE
Guthrie joined the Penn State coaching staff after a six-year stint as head softball coach and assistant athletic director at the Marion Military Institute in Alabama. He led Marion to the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region 22 Tournament three of the last four seasons, in addition to coaching 21 all-conference players. His teams were strong in the classroom as well, earning the NJCAA Academic Team of the Year Award in 2010, 2012 and 2013.
After serving in the Army, Guthrie was a part-time scout for the Florida Marlins from 2006-07.
Guthrie played baseball at Kentucky before transferring to Bevill State. He graduated with an American studies degree from Alabama in 2001. After earning his Master's degree at Jacksonville State University as a Distinguished Military Graduate, he was a member of the U.S. Army from 2002-05. Guthrie earned numerous accolades in the military, and served a one-year combat tour in Iraq.
Guthrie has also served as an instructor at numerous baseball and softball camps, including Arizona State University, University of Alabama, University of Arkansas and University of South Florida.