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Softball

 
Betsy Hipple
Betsy Hipple
Title: Head Coach
Organization: CMS
Phone: 909-607-8613
Email: betsy.hipple@cms.claremont.edu
Year: 9th
College: Northeastern University
Overall Record: 222-115, .659
SCIAC Record: 137-59, .699

Coach Betsy Hipple begins her ninth season as Head Coach of the CMS Athenas.  Starting with her inaugural 2006 campaign, she quickly built the program into a perennial SCIAC contender. 

2008: CMS takes a shot at first place into the last weekend of play, ultimately finishing second in conference.
2009: CMS advances to the NCAA Championships for the first time in program history.
2010:
  • CMS wins their first SCIAC Championship in eleven years and returns to the NCAA Championships where they win their first National Championship tournament game in program history.
  • Harmony Palmer earns First Team All-American Honors, a first in program history.  Palmer is also named Player of the Year in conference.
2011:
  • CMS wins a second consecutive SCIAC Championship (fifth in program history) and returns to the NCAA Championships, where they earn their first elimination victory and oust the reigning 2010 national champions. 
  • Eight CMS players earn ALL-SCIAC awards, a program record.
  • CMS ranks #6 among Top Ten All Academic Teams, the only team to also win a conference championship.
  • Ten Athenas receive NFCA Scholar-Athlete Awards for the 2010-2011 year, a program record.
2012:
  • CMS wins their first SCIAC Tournament title and advances to the NCAA Championships for the fourth straight season.
  • Six players earn All-SCIAC awards including Rookie of the Year (Hayley Schultz).
  • Four players earn All-Region awards.
  • Four-year shortstop Emily Lopez is voted Claremont McKenna College Female Athlete of the Year
2013:
  • CMS wins their second SCIAC Tournament title and advances to the NCAA Championships for the fifth straight season.
  • Seven players earn All-SCIAC awards including Rookie of the Year (Katie Savard)
  • Four players earn All-Region awards
  • Harmony Palmer earns First Team All-American award for the second time in her career
  • Harmony Palmer earns First Team Academic All-American Honors
  • Four-year infielder Harmony Palmer is voted Claremont McKenna College Female Athlete of the Year
  • Hayley Schultz is number three in Division III in victories, with a 26-5 record on the year.

Hipple came to CMS from Hunter College, City University of New York.  In five seasons there, she led the team to three CUNYAC titles ('02, '03, '05), three CUNYAC tournament titles ('01, '02, '03) and into the NCAA Championships three times ('01, '02, '03). She was named CUNYAC Coach of the Year three times ('01, '02, '03).  She coached multiple all conference players, pitchers of the year, and players of the year.  These accomplishments are of particular note given that Hunter College did not have a home field for either practice or competition.  All training was done in a gym and a local City of New York field was used to host teams from out of town. 

Coach Hipple is an avid student of the game.  She attends camps, clinics, and workshops whenever possible and has earned the highest rank of 4-star Master Coach, completing the entire NFCC Master Coach Program.  The NFCC (National Fastpitch Coaches College) master coach program offers an eight course, ½-star per course progression for softball coaches examining all facets of the game under the guidance of the most successful coaches in the sport.  

Coach Hipple and the Athenas share their knowledge and love of the game with local youth teams during clinics they offer throughout the year to serve the community.  Remembering how they felt watching "the big girls" play, the Athenas bring a huge enthusiasm to these clinics teaching and bonding with their young trainees. 

Prior to entering collegiate coaching, Hipple led Outward Bound courses with adjudicated and at-risk youth for almost ten years.  An outgrowth of this work led her to corporate leadership consulting for several years before attending graduate school at the University of Utah.  Master's degree in hand, Hipple left to fulfill another lifelong dream and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer for two and a half years in Malawi, Africa. 

A native of Gainesville, Florida, Hipple started her coaching career with a 12U basketball team in a local church league.  Coaching highlights since then have been many.  Among the most memorable was organizing an all-day practice session for the 2004 U.S. Olympic softball team during the ‘Aiming to Athens' tour.

In addition to coaching the softball team, Hipple is an Associate Professor of Physical Education at CMS and teaches two Fitness courses each Fall.  She coordinates the CMS Women’s Volleyball Team games management, acting behind the scenes to ensure the smooth operation of CMS Volleyball home matches. 

Coach Hipple lives in Claremont and relocated her mother to Claremont in 2007.  A huge fan of the program, her decline in health required that Coach Hipple move her to a local Assisted Living facility in June of 2011.  Many girls on the team helped a great deal with that transition and continue to show enormous compassion to her, particularly when she is able to come for game day.  Coach Hipple’s niece, Samantha Steitz, is a 2011 graduate of Scripps College and her nephew, Jeffrey Steitz, graduated from Claremont McKenna College in 2013.