Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University Athletics
Athletics Center - ASU BOX 32025 Boone, NC 28608
Division 1 North Carolina Southeast
Public Large National competitor


Email coach

Shelly Hoerner

Shelly Hoerner prepares for her third season in charge of the App State softball program.

After leading the Mountaineers to their best record since 2014 in her first season, Hoerner tied the program record for wins in a season during the 2019 campaign. The Black and Gold notched a 31-25 record, tying the win total set by the 2013 team that won the regular-season Southern Conference title.

App State’s 13 victories against Sun Belt competition in 2019 were also a program best. The Mountaineers opened the conference slate with six straight wins, sweeping Georgia Southern and ULM on the road. Appalachian then captured the final two victories in a series at Georgia State to start Sun Belt play 8-1.

Aside from massive improvements against conference foes, the Mountaineers won eight straight games from Feb. 15 to March 1 – the longest winning streak in program history. The winning streak featured a 5-0 record at the Holy City Showdown in Charleston, S.C., where App State defeated Dartmouth, the College of Charleston, Radford, Iowa State and Marshall.

Appalachian’s fifth-place finish in the Sun Belt sent the Mountaineers to their first Sun Belt Tournament. App State dropped a tight 2-0 contest to ULM, but the team’s turnaround earned them a spot in the National Invitational Softball Championship – the program’s first-ever postseason appearance. Appalachian played two games in the Liberty regional, falling twice 2-1 in close matchups against Rutgers and George Washington.

In 2019, multiple Mountaineers brought their game to the next level under Hoerner’s leadership. Junior ace Kenzie Longanecker became the first App State player to be named to the All-Sun Belt First Team. Longanecker led the team with 95 strikeouts and 23 starts throughout the season. Another junior, third baseman Keri White, earned All-Sun Belt Second Team honors after leading her team with a .347 batting average, 66 hits, 11 doubles and 13 stolen bases.

At the conclusion of the 2019 season, senior Haley Stewart became the first App State player to be drafted in program history. Stewart was selected No. 30 overall in the American Softball Association Draft by Performance Lab.

Off the field, Hoerner’s team excelled in both the classroom and in helping others in the High Country community. Twelve players made the academic honor roll for the fall 2018 semester, and softball joined all other women’s teams to post a cumulative GPA over 3.0. In the community, softball ranked No. 8 nationally in community service hours among softball programs, according to hours recorded through the Helper Helper platform.

In 2018, Hoerner began the softball program’s turnaround with 17 victories and its first Sun Belt series win since joining the league in 2015. The Mountaineers clinched their first series victory in conference with a 9-8 victory in extra innings against ULM.

From March 3-10, Hoerner’s team rattled off a then program-best seven straight victories. Appalachian defeated Tennessee Tech, Norfolk State and ULM during the historic run.

As a junior, Jenny Dodd posted the best season of her career under Hoerner’s tutelage to become the second App State player to earn All-Sun Belt Second Team honors. Dodd batted .345 with a .521 on-base percentage, nine home runs, six doubles and 38 walks in 2018.

Hoerner also changed the softball program’s culture in the classroom, seeing a 0.44 GPA boost from the fall 2017 semester to the spring 2018 semester. The program’s 3.35 spring GPA helped the team maintain a 3.15 cumulative GPA.

Appalachian State University Director of Athletics, Doug Gillin, named Shelly Hoerner head softball coach on June 23. Hoerner brings 18 years of head coaching experience with over 500 career wins to the App State program.

“We’re looking forward to the experience and excitement Shelly will bring to the program at Appalachian State. I would like to thank the search committee, chaired by Jonathan Reeder, for their work,” said Gillin. “After a national search, Shelly’s success as a coach, in addition to her reputation as a leader, made her a natural fit for App State. I am thrilled to welcome Shelly, Jeff, and Meeka May to the Appalachian State family.”

Hoerner comes to App after a four-year stint as Head Coach at Georgia Tech, where she earned her 500th career win in 2016. At Tech, her team had the highest GPA in the athletic department in 2016 and 2017, averaging over a 3.2 all four years. Hoerner coached the Yellow Jackets to four wins over nationally-ranked opponents, with three Yellow Jackets earning All-ACC honors.

Prior to Georgia Tech, Hoerner compiled a record of 254-206 at the College of Charleston, including a 105-72 mark in Southern Conference play. Named the Southern Conference Coach of the Year in 2007, she led the Cougars to a record of 37-20 overall, 15-8 in the Southern Conference.

From 2000-05, Hoerner was the head coach at Barry University, compiling an overall record of 191-82. She led Barry to Sunshine State Conference championships in 2002 and 2003, and was named the conference's Coach of the Year in both seasons. In 2002, she led Barry to a regional title and was selected as Regional Coach of the Year.

Hoerner began her head coaching career at Valdosta State, where she coached one season (2000). She first embarked on her coaching career as an assistant coach at Barry from 1996-99.

Prior to joining the coaching ranks, Hoerner was an outstanding player on the collegiate level. In two years at Barry (1993-94), the Buccaneers won 80 games. An all-conference selection, Hoerner helped Barry advance to the NCAA Division II College Softball World Series. In her two seasons at Barry, she struck out just six times in 224 at bats while scoring 41 runs and collecting 30 RBI.

Following the 1994 season she transferred to Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y., where she ranks among the school's all-time leaders in fielding percentage and stolen bases. In 1995, Hoerner led the Golden Griffins to a 28-14 mark, 11-1 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, and records of 33-7 and 11-1 in 1996. Canisius won the MAAC title in both years and Hoerner was a two-time all-conference selection.

Hoerner also gained professional playing experience in 1998 when she signed with Cavigal Nice Sports, a team in Nice, France. She played catcher and helped guide the team to a fifth-place finish in the European Championships.

A 1996 graduate of Canisius, Hoerner also holds a Master's degree from Barry in 2003. Hoerner and husband, Jeff, were married in 1999, and have a daughter, Meeka May.

Statement from Coach Hoerner…

“I would like to thank Director of Athletics Doug Gillin for this incredible opportunity to rebuild and lead the App State program. The vision he has for the athletic department mirrors what I was looking for. Jonathan Reeder and the entire search committee have been terrific through this process and very welcoming. I am excited to lead this program with passion and purpose, and will provide the necessary structure and support to help our student-athletes be successful on the field, in the classroom and in the community. The young women will be prepared for life after they graduate from App State. I look forward to bringing a family atmosphere to this program along with engaging our alumni and their families. We will work as one unit to establish a championship mentality and elevate App State Softball in the Sun Belt Conference.”

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Shane Showalter

Newly appointed Appalachian State University softball head coach Shelly Hoerner completed the hiring of her staff with the addition of Shane Showalter on Tuesday, Aug. 15. Showalter will serve as an assistant coach while working primarily with hitters.

Showalter, a softball coaching veteran of 21 years, joins the Mountaineer coaching staff with more than 16 years of head coaching experience under his belt.

“I am excited for Shane to join our staff. The wealth of experience he brings to App State Softball is what we need to help us move the program forward,” said Hoerner. “He has been involved in every facet of a softball program from an assistant coach and a head coach which will lend a hand in making the transition with the players smooth. I look forward to him taking control of the hitters as that is his strength. He will also work with the infielders and assist in day to day operations in the office including a heavy emphasis on recruiting. Our program is very fortunate to have a family man with so much softball experience in our program.”

Most recently, Showalter served on Austin Peay’s coaching staff for five seasons with the last two coming as the head coach of the Governors. Showalter boasts experience in coaching hitters, pitchers, infielders and catchers. After his first season, his squad earned the Ohio Valley Conference Team Sportsmanship Award.

Combined with that honor and under Showalter’s tutelage, Danielle Liermann became the first Governors student-athlete to be named OVC Freshman of the Year while also earning a spot on the All-OVC first team. Liermann and Kacy Acree also became the first set of Governors teammates to be named to the All-OVC Newcomer team in the same season.

While at Austin Peay and in his first season as head coach, the Govs saw their offense post top-five all-time marks for doubles, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and home runs. The team also posted its lowest strikeout total as a team since 2008, while defensively the team committed 17 fewer errors - a 19 percent improvement over the previous season.

Prior to his time at Austin Peay, Showalter became the winningest coach in Colorado State University-Pueblo history and was named the 2012 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.

Under Showalter’s guidance, the ThunderWolves became a consistent contender in the Division II RMAC, finishing second in his last season in 2012. In his last six seasons, CSU-Pueblo qualified for the RMAC Tournament each season, finishing second twice (2006, 2007).

He coached an All-America, two RMAC Players of the Year and the league freshman of the year during his tenure. Along the way he mentored eight all-region, 44 all-league and 10 all-conference tournament selections.

In 2009 the program qualified for the NCAA Division II National Tournament for the first time in school history. The ThunderWolves earned an at-large bid that season and eventually played its way into the Central Regional Championship game - earning the program’s first-ever national tournament victories.

While at CSU-Pueblo, Showalter’s squads maintained a grade point average better than 3.4.

Before serving as the ThunderWolves’ head coach, Showalter held the same position at Division III Colorado College. Prior to that he served as an assistant coach at his alma mater Adams State from 1996-98.

Off the softball field, Showalter served as assistant grounds keeper from 1999-2002 for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, the Colorado Rockies Triple-A affiliate.

Showalter earned both his bachelor’s (sports and exercise management) and master’s (exercise physiology) at Adams State.

He has one daughter, Maison.

“First and foremost I would like to thank coach Hoerner for this opportunity,” said Showalter. “I am looking forward to being a part of her staff and helping to build a great softball program that Appalachian State and the community will be proud of. I would also like to thank everyone in Appalachian State athletics for the warm welcome. My daughter and I feel very much at home here already. The people we have met and the town have been nothing short of amazing. We are very proud and feel very blessed to be a part of the community and the Appalachian State family.”

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Amanda Fefel

Appalachian State head softball coach Shelly Hoerner announced the addition of Amanda Fefel to the softball coaching staff on Aug. 7, 2019. Fefel will serve as the pitching coach and also work with the offense and defense.

“I am excited to welcome Amanda to our family. She will bring a wealth of experience with her, especially being a former head coach, which will be a great addition to our program,” Hoerner said. “What Amanda has done with the culture and success on the field at Clarendon is what set her apart from the other candidates. I was impressed with the quick turnaround she had in a tough Texas conference.”

Fefel joins the App State coaching staff after spending the past five seasons as the head softball coach at Clarendon College in Texas. During her time with the Bulldogs, Fefel compiled an impressive 183-95 record. Fefel led Clarendon to the NJCAA Tournament five straight seasons, with the Bulldogs also receiving a top 25 NJCAA ranking in 2018 and a top 10 ranking in 2019.

As the head coach, Fefel was also responsible for all player recruitment, travel, game day operations, and off-season training. While at Clarendon, Fefel was also an academic athletic advisor and student life director, where she served as the college compliance liaison for NJCAA medical paperwork, and evaluated degree plans, course equivalency, and graduation completion.

“Amanda has been involved in all aspects of different programs throughout her coaching career which will make this transition very seamless,” Hoerner said. “The knowledge Amanda has for our game, her blue-collar work ethic and energetic personality is the perfect fit here at App State Softball.”

Prior to her time at Clarendon, Fefel served as the first assistant for three years at Coppin University where she was responsible for all aspects of the program including budgeting, travel, recruiting, fundraising, and field maintenance.

The Baltimore, Md. native helped guide more than 15 student-athletes on the All-Academic team and over 10 on the All-Conference first and second team, including Pitcher of the Year.

Her coaching career began at George Mason where she served as an assistant coach. At George Mason, Fefel was responsible for the development of hitters and outfielders, as well as organizing and running team hitting sessions.

Fefel enjoyed a successful playing career as a four-year starter at UMBC. The pitcher was the 10th player in America East history to be named to the All-Conference first team four times. She was also a four-time All-Academic selection. In addition to conference awards, Fefel was named team MVP in 2009 and 2010, in addition to UMBC Female Athlete of the Year in 2009 and Senior Athlete of the Year in 2010.

Fefel graduated UMBC in 2010 with her B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Marketing and Business. She received her M.S. in Human Service Administration in 2016.

“I am both extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity in which coach Hoerner and the Appalachian State athletic department has given me to become a part of the Mountaineer family here in Boone,” Fefel said.

“I am looking forward to being a part of the culture and success that this coaching staff is trying to build, both on and off the field. Since the first day I stepped on campus, I could feel the excitement and anticipation of what is to come, and I cannot wait to start this journey beside them.”

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