Lisa Costello enters her 23rd season at the helm of the Towson University softball program. With 652 victories, she is one of the best collegiate coaches in the country. Under her guidance, Costello has transformed Towson into one of the top programs in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA).
Costello has guided the Tigers to five appearances in the CAA and two in the America East championship game. Overall, Towson has participated in the CAA tournament 12 times. Towson enters the 2018 season having won at least 20 games in 20 consecutive seasons. The Tigers have enjoyed nine 30-win seasons under Costello, including 2015 and 2016,
Among the highlights of the 2017 for Costello and the Tigers was earning her 650th career contest, a 4-2 victory over UNCW. The Tigers finished among the top half of the CAA in several offensive categories. Towson was second in home runs (48) and slugging percentage (.450), and fourth in batting average (.283), runs scored (237) and RBI's (212).
Individually, Towson had junior Kendyl Scott and senior Holiday Cahill named to the All-CAA team. In addition to being a first-team All-CAA selection, Scott was named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Mid-Atlantic Region Third Team.
The Tigers advanced to the CAA Championship game for the second time in three years under Costello after a successful 2016 season that saw the Tigers win 37 games. Costello also earned her 600th career victory during the season. Towson finished second in the CAA after being picked fifth in the preseason poll.
The Tigers finishing among the nation's elite in several offensive categories in 2016. In addition, sophomores Brook Miko and Shelby Stracher were also among the top 50 nationally in many individual statistical categories.
The Tigers, who slugged a single-season program record 70 homers, was 10th nationally in home runs per game (1.30). Towson was also 19th in slugging percentage (.514), 26th in scoring (6.02) and 33rd in winning percentage (.685). The Tigers also finished the season leading the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) in those categories. Towson reached double digits in runs scored 12 times and scored at least six runs in a game 29 times.
Stracher was 17th nationally in sacrifice flies (five), 26th in RBIs per game (1.06), 42nd in home runs (15) and 47th in home runs per game (0.28). She led the CAA in RBIs (57), home runs (15), total bases (119) and slugging percentage (.750). Meanwhile, Miko was 44th in doubles per game (0.31) and 49th in RBIs per game (1.00).
The 2015 season was a successful one for the Tigers as they produced their eighth 30-win season under Lisa Costello. The Tigers overcame a tough start to the conference after dropping their first six games to qualify for the CAA tournament. Towson won 10 of its final 14 CAA games.
In addition, the Tigers enjoyed some individual accolades as Holiday Cahill set the single-season home run record with 13. Cahill was selected to the All-CAA first team, while Olivia Yarbrough and Missy McCormick were named to the second team. Brook Miko and Shelby Stracher were each chosen for the all-rookie team.
In 2014, Costello led the Tigers to their 10th Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) tournament appearance. Towson finished as the CAA Runner Up, its highest postseason finish since 2009 when the Tigers finished in second-place.
The season was highlighed by Missy McCormick who pitched the first perfect game in school history (April 10 vs. Temple). The Tigers finished the regular sesason with a 29-25 record, their third-straight winning record. Towson had the CAA Leader in four statistical categories; Olivia Yarbrough in runs scored (45), Missy McCormick in RBIs (53) and home runs (12), Maureen Hepner in total bases (103) and home Runs (12).
The 2013 season was a memorable one for Costello, as a career milestone was acheived by the long-time Tiger coach. On February 8, 2013, the Tigers’ 7-5 victory over Ohio gave Costello the 500th win of her career. In addition, Costello saw outstanding pitching from senior Katie Lingmai, who finished her career as the Towson career leader in innings, strikeouts, complete games and shutouts. Lingmai struck out 721 batters in her career while going 18-16 in her last season with 25 complete games and six shutouts.
In 2012, Towson was led by Lingmai who set the school’s all-time and single-season strikeout record. She became the first pitcher in school history to strikeout 200 or more batters in a season (203). She broke the school’s all-time strikeout mark and finished the season with 524. The Tigers were led offensively by freshman shortstop Hailey Balk, whose 57 base hits were tied for the ninth-most in a single season at Towson.
Although the 2011 Tigers fell just short of 30 wins, the team advanced to the Colonial Athletic Association Championship Tournament for the fourth consecutive season. In addition to coaching the team to the school’s single-season stolen bases record with 71, Costello saw outfielders Erika Stasch and Rachel Miller earn First Team All-CAA honors and pitcher Katie Lingmai second team honors.
The 2010 Tigers advanced to the CAA Championship Tournament for the third straight year while five Tigers earned All-CAA honors, including Stef Streets, who knocked in 116 runs during her career.
The 2009 Tigers came within one win of the CAA Championship, falling to James Madison in the championship game. Costello had five players earn All-CAA honors that season. In addition, she earned the 400th win of her career against La Salle in April.
After enduring their first losing season in eight years in 2007, the Tigers bounced back in a big way in 2008. Costello’s crew posted a 37-26 mark and made it back to the CAA Tournament. Along the way, the Tigers set several school records and five Tigers earned All-CAA honors for their play. Towson finished third in the CAA Tournament in 2008
In 2007, the Tigers faced a very difficult schedule and finished the year with a 25-31 record. Despite their losing record, the Tigers remained in contention for a berth in the CAA Tournament until the final game of the year.
The 2006 season saw Costello lead a very young Tiger team to a 33-28 record, the eighth straight 30-win season. However, they failed to qualify for the CAA Tournament. It marked the first time since 1998 that Towson did not qualify for its post-season conference tournament.
Although they came up short in their bid to earn a post-season tournament appearance, the Tigers came on strong in the final weeks of the season. After starting their CAA schedule with a 1-5 record, the Tigers rallied to win 8 of 14 CAA games before they were eliminated on the final weekend of the season when Hofstra failed to beat Delaware.
On April 11, 2006, the Tiger coach earned another individual milestone when Towson beat Mount St. Mary’s for her 300th career victory. Costello was honored as the CAA Coach of the Year in 2005 after leading the Tigers to a 38-19 record, setting a school record for wins in a season. Costello was honored as the winner of the Towson University Coach of the Year award for women’s sports in 1999.
The team has shown tremendous growth under the guidance of Costello. The first full-time softball coach that the program has known, Coach Costello became the Tigers’ head coach in 1996 after serving as an assistant coach to Elayne Lucas for two seasons.
During her two years as an assistant coach, Towson was one of the top teams in the Big South Conference. In 1994, Towson had its second straight 20-win season with a 21-9 mark. In 1995, Towson set a school record for victories with its 28-16 record. When Coach Lucas retired at the end of the season, Coach Costello was named as her replacement.
Prior to coming to Towson, she served as the assistant coach at Rider University in New Jersey for three years. At Rider, she helped the Broncs win the 1990 East Coast Conference title as well as the ECAC Championship. She was also the Director of Intramurals at Rider for one year.
A native of Vineland, N.J., Coach Costello played three years of college softball at Trenton State College in New Jersey. She played one year at the University of Iowa as a freshman. While at Trenton, she was a member of the 1987 and 1989 NCAA Division III championship teams and earned second team All-America honors. As a senior, she was the captain of the Lions’ national championship team. She earned her B.S. degree in exercise physiology/physical education from Trenton State in 1990. She earned her Master’s degree in liberal studies/sports administration from Towson in 1995.
Her 1987 NCAA Division III championship softball team was inducted into The College of New Jersey (formerly Trenton State) Athletic Hall of Fame.