Lions Softball Adds Assistant Coach

Press Release MSSU:

Lions Head Softball Coach Bill Gray has announced the hiring of Melissa Chmielewski as the new assistant coach.

Chmielewski comes to Southern after two years as the head coach at Eagan (Minn.) High School where she took a 1-19 program and complied a two-year record of 18-23. Prior to EHS Melissa was a graduate assistant at Minnesota State University at Moorhead, where she attained her master’s degree in education leadership. While at MSU-M the Dragons finished 14-24, 5-18 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.

Chmielewski played her collegiate career at NCAA D-I North Dakota State University where she played first base from 2007-10. Melissa was a two-time Summit League Player of the Year (2010 and 2008), a 2010 CoSIDA College Division first-team Academic All-American, a 2010 Summit League All-Tournament Team selection, a 2010 and 09 Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Midwest Region first-team selection, a three time All-Summit League first-team selection, a 2008 Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Midwest Region second-team selection, a three time NFCA Scholar Athlete, a 2009 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District First Team, a two-time Summit League Winter/Spring All-Academic selection, a two-time Summit League Commissioner’s List of Academic Excellence selection, a 2007 Division I Independent Newcomer of the Year, and a 2007 All-Independent first-team selection.

Helping the Bison transition from D-II to D-I, Chmielewski, was a part of the four year period that saw NDSU go 142-85 overall and 47-14 in their first three years in the Summit League. Winning two Summit League titles, in 2009 and 10, Melissa and the Bison made two NCAA Regional appearances. In 2009, NDSU knocked off perennial power Oklahoma in the opening game of the Norman Regional and went on to advance to the Tempe, Ariz. Super Regional before falling to the defending WCWS champions, Arizona State, two games to none. In 2010 the Bison put up a 33-25 overall record, a 14-8 Summit League mark, while advancing to the Seattle Regional.

Chmielewski can be found all over the NDSU record books. She holds the records for most hits in a game, five, most RBIs in a game, eight, and most walks in a game, four. She also holds records in most home runs in a game with two and total bases in a game with 11. On the defensive side she holds the career record for most fielding chances with 1,415. She is in the top 10 in eight different offensive career categories for the Bison, including second in career home runs with 38. She also holds the career record in put outs with 1,310 to go along with her career mark in fielding chances.

“We were excited to find a coach the caliber of Melissa available at this time. She knows the game and has stepped in and contributing since her first day on campus,” said Coach Gray.

“She has championship experience playing for an outstanding North Dakota State program, she learned from a great set of coaches (Darren Mueller/Jamie Trachsel) and will bring that knowledge and passion for the game to our program .”

A 2006 graduate of Centennial High School in Circle Pines, Minn. she also played hockey as well as softball.

Chmielewski graduated in 2010 from North Dakota State University with degrees in both physical education and health.