Coach Jessica Jones-Sitzmann
Jessica Jones-Sitzmann is the winningest softball coach in Morningside history with a 478-276 career record over the past 14 seasons. Jones-Sitzmann was a Morningside assistant coach for four years before she was promoted to the head post in 1999.
Jones-Sitzmann guided the Mustangs to a school-record nine consecutive 30-win seasons, including five 40-win campaigns, from 2003 to 2011. Last season she led the Mustangs to the GPAC Post-Season Tournament championship to qualify for the NAIA National Tournament for the fourth year in a row.
Her 2011 Morningside team set a school record for victories with a 46-11 record to go along with GPAC regular season and post-season tournament championships en route to a national tournament berth.
Jones-Sitzmann was named the GPAC Coach of the Year for the third time in a four-year span in 2010 after she guided the Mustangs to a 40-9 record, the GPAC regular season and post-season tournament championships, and a national tournament berth. She was the 2009 GPAC Co-Coach of the Year after she led the Mustangs to the GPAC regular season championship and a NAIA National Tournament berth. She guided the Mustangs to a 40-12 record, the GPAC Post-Season Tournament championship, and a fifth consecutive NAIA Region Tournament appearance in 2008. Her 2007 team posted a 43-13 record to set a school record with a .768 winning percentage. Jones-Sitzmann was named the 2007 GPAC Coach of the Year after she led the Mustangs to that season’s GPAC regular season championship.
Jones-Sitzmann is a 1993 graduate of South Dakota State University, where she was a standout pitcher. She posted a 42-39 record with the Jackrabbits and established a school record with a 1.81 career earned run average. She earned NCAA Division II All-America honors as a junior in 1992 to become the Jackrabbits' first-ever softball All-American.
As a prep senior, Jones-Sitzmann led Sioux City East High School to a seventh place finish at the 1989 state tournament. Jones-Sitzmann tossed a no-hitter against North Scott in the opening round of the state tourney. She posted a 32-7 record with a sparkling 0.78 earned run average and struck out 225 batters in 224 innings pitched during her senior campaign en route to first-team all-state honors. She earned fifth-team all-state laurels as an outfielder when she batted .402 as a junior.
Coach Mackenzie Neely
Mackenzie Neely joins the coaching staff following a standout playing career with the Mustangs.
Neely ranks among the greatest hitters in Morningside history. A four-year starter, Neely collected 201 hits in 544 at-bats for a .369 batting average to go along with career totals of 30 doubles, 30 home runs, and 162 RBIs.
She is the only softball player in Morningside history to be a four-time first-team All-GPAC performer. Neely was named a NAIA first-team All-American as a freshman when she hit .387 with 12 doubles, seven home runs and 40 RBIs. She was a second-team All-American as a sophomore when she established career highs with a .393 batting average, 10 home runs, and 54 RBIs. Neely also slugged 10 home runs as a senior when she hit .380 with 42 RBIs.
Neely graduated from Morningside in 2013 with a major in general psychology.
Coach Tracie Derochie
Tracie Derochie is back with the Mustangs after previously serving as one of the team’s assistant coaches from 2001-02.
Derochie was the interim head softball coach at South Dakota State University during the 1996 season and guided the Jackrabbits to a 43-22 record and their first-ever NCAA Division II Regional Final.
She was an assistant basketball coach at the University of Sioux Falls from 1996-98 and at Briar Cliff University from 2008-11.
Derochie is a 1993 graduate of Briar Cliff, where she played basketball and softball. She achieved her greatest accomplishments in softball and was a two-time All-IoKota Conference and NAIA All-District 15 performer.