Prairie Star Softball Camps
Head Coach Shannon Guthrie
In her first season, Guthrie saw Ashli King named to the All-GLVC third team honors as well as the Daktronics Midwest Region First team. Junior pitcher Alexandria Smith fanned 141 batters to rank sixth in the league. Under her watch, the Stars earned a No. 9 ranking in the region - the first for the program. Four-year player Lauren Hollinshead led the league in steals and was named the department's Senior Scholar Athlete as well as Female Athlete of the Year. She helped 10 student-athletes earn Academic All-GLVC honors and graduated two seniors that were named to the GLVC Council of President's Academic Excellence list.
No stranger to the Springfield area, Guthrie is a Chatham native who is returning near her hometown after a six-year stint with the Illinois State softball program, serving as its pitching coach.
One of the most prolific pitchers to ever emerge from the Illinois State softball program, Guthrie first joined the ISU coaching ranks during the 2008 season as a student assistant coach, where she assisted former pitching coach Bill Kennedy in all aspects of coaching the Redbird pitchers.
In 2013, she took a staff with little experience and molded it into one of the Missouri Valley's best. Junior Taylor Baxter emerged as the ace and earned All-MVC Second Team honors after going 15-8 with a 3.15 ERA. Freshman Regan Romshek flourished under Nicholson's guidance immediately, going 10-9 with a 3.69 ERA, while junior Sophia Perez ranked second in the nation with seven saves.
Previously, Guthrie oversaw the development of Jordan Birch and Megan Warner, with the former being named First Team All-MVC in 2012 and Second Team All-Mideast Region in 2011. Warner also earned two Second Team All-MVC selections under Nicholson's tutelage.
Guthrie, who completed her illustrious four-year ISU career with 62 wins - the fourth-most all-time in school history. In her senior season, Nicholson became just the second female student-athlete in ISU history to be named the Illinois State Female Student-Athlete and Female Athlete of the Year in the same academic year. She was also selected to the 2007 Easton All-America Second Team - just the second Redbird pitcher all-time to earn All-America second team status. She led the team in earned-run average (1.53) and wins (21), and was picked to the All-MVC First Team.
A consistent performer throughout her Redbird pitching career, Guthrie recorded at least 15 wins in the circle for ISU in each of her sophomore, junior and senior seasons. She ranks fourth all-time for career wins (62), third in opponent batting average (.244), third in career appearances (135) and is tied for fifth in career strikeouts with 362.
Guthrie took her strong collegiate pitching to the sport's highest level, playing professional softball in summer 2008 as a member of the Akron Racers in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league.
As a standout at Chatham Glenwood, Guthrie was a three-time Central 8 Softball Player of theYear and a three-time honoree to the Illinois High School All-State team. She also owns the IHSA's record for lowest ERA in a season (0.00) in 2001.
Guthrie was a standout in the classroom, earning NFCA Scholar Athlete honors three times as well as MVC All-Academic first team honors as a senior. She earned a Bachelor's of Business - Teacher Education and a master's degree in Kinesiology and recreation with a concentration in sport management at Illinois State.
What They're Saying about Coach Guthrie:
"I am very excited for Shannon to be named the Head Softball Coach at the University of Illinois Springfield. She is an up and coming young coach and this is a tremendous professional opportunity for her. She has passion for the sport and is very committed to developing the total student-athlete. Shannon had an illustrious career at Illinois State and continued to help grow our program as a student assistant, graduate assistant and assistant coach. I look forward to watching her do the same at UIS."
Head Coach Melinda Fischer, Illinois State
"I am excited that Shannon has been named the Head Softball Coach at UIS. Shannon was an outstanding student-athlete and coach at Illinois State, and has worked hard at the tools and skills necessary to coach, lead, and mentor female student-athletes. She is a dedicated, hard-working and loyal coach, and will make an impact on the student-athletes and fans of UIS softball. I look forward to watching the success and progress Shannon will make with the program."
Deputy Athletics Director/SWA Leanna Bordner, Illinois State
Shannon Guthrie enters her second season with UIS and the third Prairie Star softball coach.