UMass staff is completely home-grown
Head Coach Elaine Sortino and her staff are hosting the Second Annual Winter General Skills Clinic.
Kristi Stefanoni begins her eighth season on the Minutewomen coaching staff in 2014 and her first as interim head coach. She was promoted from her position as an associate head coach in August of 2013. She had previously served six seasons as an assistant coach and one as the Director of Softball Operations. She worked primarily with the outfielders and left-handed slap hitters, among other duties, including budgetary and recruiting responsibilities.
In her seven seasons on the UMass staff, The Minutewomen have a cumulative record of 249-104-2 (.704), winning the Atlantic 10 Championship and advancing to the NCAA Tournament five times each. In Stefanoni's four years as a player, UMass went 151-64-1 (.715) with three A-10 Championships, four NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Super Regional berth in 2006. She has been a part of the program for nine years, being a part of 344 victories.
Working with the UMass outfielders for the last seven seasons, Stefanoni has coached 13 Atlantic 10 All-Conference outfielders and back-to-back Conference Players of the Year in Carly Normandin (2009) and Katie Bettencourt (2010). Normandin was a 2009 NFCA All-American and, along with Lauren Proctor, each earned three All-Conference nods.
Stefanoni's work with slap hitters has also yielded two of the best in program history - Candice Molinari and Cyndil Matthew.
Molinari was a first-team All-Conference centerfielder twice while compiling .388 and .401 batting averages with 46 combined stolen bases in her junior and senior seasons in 2006 and 2007, Stefanoni's first two as assistant coach, coming after a pair of sub-.300 seasons.
Matthew burst on the scene as a sophomore in 2011, batting a team-best .324 with 22 runs scored and earning All-Conference honors before grabbing Easton Second Team All-America plaudits in 2012 when she hit .409 with a .476 on-base percentage and a single-season school-record 36 steals. The speedster duplicated that national accomplishment as a senior where she was in fourth in the A-10 with a .380 avg. and first in steals with 31 (ninth in the nation). She finished her career fourth in UMass history with a .362 batting avg., ninth with 124 runs scored, tied for fourth with a .443 on-base pct. and third with 92 stolen bases.
A 2006 graduate of UMass with a degree in Psychology, Stefanoni was a co-captain for the Minutewomen her senior year. She started almost every game at second base her last three seasons while being one of the most disciplined players at the plate. Stefanoni showed great range in the field and compiled a career fielding percentage of .950 in nearly 500 chances.
The native of Columbus, New Jersey scored 75 runs in her career while compiling a .350 on-base percentage. She dropped down 24 sacrifice bunts, stole 26 bases and successfully advanced runners almost 50 percent of the time in her career. Stefanoni had 14 career doubles, two triples, one home run and 27 RBI as well as 11 multi-hit and five multi-RBI games in her career.
Stefanoni was a four-year letterwinner in softball at Northern Burlington (N.J.) County Regional High School, batting .447 as a senior en route to leading the school to its first-ever state championship. She finished her senior campaign with a .544 on-base percentage with five doubles, three triples, and 28 runs scored. She took home All-Conference honors for the second time that season in addition to All-Area and All-South Jersey honors. She was inducted into the Northern Burlington Athletic Hall of Fame in March of 2013.
Stefanoni played second base for the Jersey Devils ASA travel team under Hall of Fame Head Coach Jimmy Holland and competed in the 2005 Canada Cup with the Absolute Blast from the state of Washington.
Stefanoni resides in Hadley.
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