ABILENE, Texas -- Hardin-Simmons Director of Athletics John Neese has named former Cowgirl softball player Arin Spence-Salas as the third head coach in the history of the program.
"We are pleased to welcome Arin back to the Hardin-Simmons family and we know the high standards that she will set for this softball program," said Neese. "Our current student-athletes know what a tremendous worker Arin is and how much HSU means to her. The incoming class that former coach Dan Sheppard recruited will be impressed with Arin once they have a chance to meet her. Both Coach Sheppard and Coach Rita Jordan had a tremendous influence on Arin and it will be good to see what she has learned from both of them to mold this program into something that she will have complete ownership of."
HSU was 23-17 in 2012 and 10 players return for the 2013 season. Spence-Salas replaces Dan Sheppard, who served two years as the Cowgirl coach before resigning in late May.
"I am excited to be back at Hardin-Simmons," said Salas-Spence. "I have been around this program for six years as a player and coach and I really look forward to building on what Coach Sheppard and Coach Jordan have done. We will put together a quality team, which works hard and represents the university on and off the field. We look forward to getting back to the top of the American Southwest Conference, which I feel is the top conference in Division III softball."
As a Cowgirl, Spence-Salas was a standout player for three seasons. She was a second-team all-American as both a junior and senior. She was a first-team all-region selection two times and a second-teamer as a sophomore at HSU.
She was three times named the ASC West Pitcher of the Year. She also pitched Angelo State to a Division II National Championship as a freshman, before transferring to HSU. She was an all-region and all-Lone Star Conference selection and was named to the Division II World Series All-Tournament team after posting a 23-5 mark in the circle.
In her three seasons at HSU, she posted a record of 62-18 in the circle with a 1.60 ERA with 500 strikeouts. She also hit .363 with 23 home runs and 112 RBIs. She ranks first all-time in every major pitching category at HSU and overall she is in the HSU top 10 in every single offensive and pitching category and holds 25 school career records and 19 season records.
She led the Cowgirls to a record of 91-37. She helped lead the Cowgirls to their only two ASC titles in 2006 and 2007 and they played in the ASC Championship game in 2005 in just the second year of the program. She also led the Cowgirls to the NCAA Tournament on two occasions. In 2006, she had a win over eventual national champion Linfield in the regional.
After her playing days, where she was a standout in the classroom earning academic All-America honors she completed her master's in sports and recreation management and served as a graduate assistant coach for the Cowgirls. She then spent another year as a volunteer assistant with the Cowgirls.
She then spent two seasons as the head coach at Abilene Cooper High School, posting a 29-30-1 record. She helped transition the Cougars from 4A to 5A and the team had its first winning record in nearly a decade in the 2012 season.
Spence-Salas, a 2003 graduate of Abilene High, is married to former Hardin-Simmons soccer standout David Salas and they live in Abilene. She has both a bachelor's degree (exercise science) and master's degree from HSU.
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A Slight Storm Chance Today, Quiet Tomorrow
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As we wake up on this Wednesday morning, clear skies are expected to dominate through much of the day today. Temperatures will get back into...
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Comfortable overnight with a warm and humid start to Wednesday.
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Partly cloudy skies tonight with gradually clearing skies Wednesday afternoon.
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