St. Johns River State College

St. Johns River State College Athletics
5001 St Johns Ave Palatka, FL 32177
NJCAA Florida Southeast
Public Medium Developing team

Coaches

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Marti Littlefield

Marti Littlefield began coaching softball at SJR State in 2019 and comes from Northwest Florida State College, where she spent three years as assistant coach to Jack Byerley. Together, they accumulated an overall record of 121 wins, 47 losses and claimed one Panhandle Conference title.


The Nashville, Ga., native spent six years as a player and coach at Valdosta State University (VSU), contributing to an unprecedented run of six straight Gulf South Conference (GSC) softball championships since 2009. Her coaching staff earned National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II South Region Coaching Staff of the Year honors in 2013 and 2014. “Hard work pays off, and the outcome of any game is not predetermined,” said Littlefield. “Starting with the pregame all the way until the last pitch requires an extreme amount of focus and team effort.” Littlefield was one of the most successful offensive players in GSC history, setting records in a slew of categories including home runs, RBIs and doubles. She also led her team to the program’s first-ever national title in 2012. She was named GSC Freshman of the Year and was VSU’s Female Athlete of the Year in 2011. She was selected to the All-GSC and all-region teams for four years and named an All-American by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association in 2009 and 2011. She thrived academically and was named a VSU Community Service Leader in 2011 in recognition of her volunteer work.


The year 2018 served as a huge milestone for Littlefield in the accolades department. Early in the year, Littlefield, along with the 2012 Softball National Championship team, was inducted into the 2018 Valdosta State University’s Hall of Fame. In May, she was inducted into the 2018 Gulf South Conference Hall of Fame. Littlefield was inducted, individually, into VSU’s Hall of Fame in February of 2019.

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Alissa Smith

Alissa Smith began coaching softball as assistant coach at St. Johns River State College in 2019. She came to SJR State after serving as the assistant softball coach and recruiting coordinator at Daytona State College where her responsibilities included working with the offense, the infield, recruiting and overseeing of camps and clinics. Smith also did a 10-year stint of coaching at the Division I level, serving as an assistant coach at Bethune Cookman University from 1999 to 2005, and at The University of Maryland from 2005 to 2009.


While at Bethune-Cookman, Smith helped lead the Wildcats to five straight Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) championships from 1999-2004 with corresponding NCAA regional appearances.


In 2005, the team also won the NCAA Regional at Gainesville, and advanced to the NCAA Super Regional. Bethune-Cookman won 49 games and finished number 18 in the final Top 25 poll of the season.


Smith was also awarded South Region Coaching Staff of the Year by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) in 2005.


Smith’s collegiate career began at Daytona Beach Community College, where she played her freshman and sophomore seasons, earning her team’s Gold Glove Award her second year. Smith then transferred to Florida A&M University, where she received her degree in psychology. While at Florida A&M University, she played second base and shortstop, and helped lead the Rattlers to claim a MEAC title her senior season. Smith earned the team’s defensive player of the year award that year.


Smith worked as a pharmacy technician in Orlando for two years before joining Bethune-Cookman’s coaching staff as an assistant. She is single and resides in New Smyrna Beach, FL.

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Sabrina Hartsell

Sabrina Hartsell began coaching softball as an assistant coach at St. Johns River State College in 2020. She comes to us with years of experience developing youth pitchers. Her transition to college coaching was a smooth one as she has prepped many of her former high school and travel ball standouts for some impressive college careers.


Hartsell’s coaching career began at Bolles High School in 1998 where she was an assistant, taking over the head coach position just a year later in 1999. She left Bolles in 2002 to start a family and pursue a career at Baptist Medical Center in the Wolfson’s Children Emergency Room. She began giving private pitching lessons, and in December 2010, went back to coaching at Creekside High School. She took over as Head Coach in 2012. In 2013, Hartsell led 5A, Creekside, to a second-place finish in their first appearance at the State Tournament. She finished her 5 years at Creekside with a record of 125 wins and 17 loses, four District titles, 4 straight playoff appearances including two regional titles, and two state playoff appearances finishing as the runner-up once.


In the fall of 2012, Hartsell was hired to coach the 16U Florida Select Softball Program. Her coaching contacts grew as she assisted multiple players in earning college scholarships at the game’s highest level. In the fall of 2013, she and her husband, Mike, started the Florida Force Softball program. She also coached for three years (2015-2018) at Daytona State College.


Hartsell is a 1996 graduate of Orange Park High School, where she was a three year letterman in fast pitch softball and weight lifting. She was named MVP, Pitcher of the Year and made the All-State Team three years. She set several school records, and her strike out record remains unbroken. Hartsell received scholarship interest from several DI universities, but like many of our athletes, she decided on the Junior College route. She attended Florida Community College of Jacksonville (now Florida State College of Jacksonville) where she pitched for two years before transferring to the University of North Florida. Her pitching career was shortened due to an unfortunate elbow injury.


Sabrina has been married to her husband, Mike Hartsell, since 2002. They have two sons, Hunter and Nolan.

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