Converse College announced this week that the Valkyries Athletic Department will add softball as its 11th intercollegiate sport.
“This program will bring student athletes to Converse who will succeed both academically and athletically.”
“Softball is a perfect choice for Converse as we continue to grow our athletic program,” said Athletic Director Joy Couch. “This program will bring student athletes to Converse who will succeed both academically and athletically. It is important that we support high school girls in continuing their passions as they follow and achieve their academic goals.”
Converse will begin softball competition in the Conference Carolinas during the 2016 season, and becomes the 12th conference member to support the sport.
Former Furman University assistant coach Austin Murray is slated to build the Valkyries’ softball program. “We are extremely excited to have Austin Murray as our first softball head coach,” said Couch. “Her coaching and playing experiences are important components of building our program and becoming competitive at the conference level.”
During Murray’s four seasons of coaching at Furman, she was involved with every aspect of the program, including serving as the pitching coach. She helped lead Furman to a 24-23 record in 2010, marking the Paladins’ first winning season in a decade. Murray tutored a Furman pitching staff that fashioned a 2.67 ERA and included All-SoCon selection Lana Mackey and SoCon All-Freshman pick Kayla Suskauer. Her Paladin pitching staffs have ranked in the top three in the Southern Conference in ERA for two of the past three seasons.
Murray played collegiately at Lander, where she earned back-to-back Peach Belt Conference Academic Honor Roll accolades and finished her career ranked in the top five in program history for appearances (2nd), strikeouts (4th) and shutouts (5th). She received her Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science in 2008.
“I couldn’t be more excited to become Converse’s first head coach,” said Murray. “I am honored that Joy Couch chose me and God has given me the opportunity to start this program. I can’t wait to see the program flourish and grow.”