Softball Announces Five New SigningsHampton University head softball coach Trena Peel announced five signees in the early signing period, bringing players from all over the country to the university. The signees are Heather Danielle Baccus from North Carolina, Danielle Budden of New Jersey, Taylor Clark from Arizona, Kayla Deschepper from Colorado, and Alana O'Neill from California.
Trena Peel is entering her third season as head coach of the Hampton University softball program, taking her first head coaching job after two seasons as an assistant coach of 6-time SWAC champion Mississippi Valley State.
After going 13-35 and missing the conference tournament in Peel’s first season, the Lady Pirates rebounded in 2012 to the tune of a 25-33 overall record – an improvement of 12 wins – and a 9-9 mark in conference play, which earned the Lady Pirates a No. 3 seed from the Northern Division in the MEAC Tournament. Once in the tournament, Hampton advanced to the semifinals – defeating the Southern Division’s top seed, Savannah State, along the way.
The Lady Pirates were second in the MEAC in hits (411), home runs (28), and runs batted in (218) in 2012, while sitting third in runs scored (240) and slugging percentage (.385). On the mound, Hampton was second in the MEAC in strikeouts with 243.
MVSU went 27-23 in 2010, falling in the SWAC championship game to Alcorn State. Four Devilettes were named All-SWAC: pitcher Lisa Jansen and right fielder Ashley Hobs wear First Team All-SWAC selections, while outfielder Haleigh Eubanks and catcher Alexandria Robertson were named Second Team All-SWAC. Jansen led the SWAC last season in opposing batting average (.213), strikeouts (144), wins (14) and finished second in the conference with a 2.78 ERA.
Michael Pelegrino is entering his first season as an assistant coach with the Hampton University softball program. Prior to coaching at Hampton, he was the head coach at Saint Peter’s College in Jersey City, N.J.
In 2005, he was an assistant coach at Saint Peters College, before becoming the head coach in 2006. In 2007, Saint Peter’s was picked to come in last in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), but finished second with an 11-5 conference record and qualified for the conference tournament for the first time in eight years.
As a result, Pelegrino finished second in the 2007 MAAC Coach of the Year voting. During the team’s opening-round conference tournament game, Saint Peter’s fell behind 11-1 to Niagara before coming back to win 13-11 in the biggest comeback in MAAC Tournament history.
Pelegrino was also a successful assistant coach on the high school level in New Jersey. In 1998, he helped Saddle Brook High School win its first-ever state sectional championship, before leading them to another title in 2000.
In 2001 and 02, he helped Immaculate Heart Academy win the Bergen County championship, as well as a state sectional championship in 2002.
Horace Smith III
Horace Smith III is entering his first season as an assistant coach with the Hampton University softball program.
Prior to coaching at Hampton, Smith was a pitcher and captain of the Norfolk State baseball team. He also served as a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). He graduated from Norfolk State with a bachelor’s in Exercise Science, specializing in Kinesiotherapy.
Smith brings a tremendous ability as a coach, recruiter, and motivator to the Lady Pirates staff, and he has developed a reputation as a tireless worker and great competitor who understands what it takes to build a championship-caliber softball program.
Horace is a native of Emporia, Va. where he attended Greensville County High School and was an all-district player in football, basketball, and baseball. He was named Region I Male Athlete of the Year in 2007.
Kendra Knight is entering her first season as a graduate assistant coach with the Hampton University softball program, where she will primarily serve as pitching coach. Knight comes to Hampton with a great deal of knowledge and experience, known as a fierce competitor that strives for excellence and knows what it takes to be a champion.
Prior to coming to Hampton, Knight etched her name in the record books at the University of Maryland, where she holds the program record for most strikeouts in a season with 309 this past season. An All-ACC selection this past season, Knight was also an NFCA All-Region First Team selection.
Knight led the ACC in opponent batting average as a senior, and she ranked second in the ACC (and eighth in the nation) in 2012 in strikeouts. In three of her four seasons with Maryland, Knight registered an ERA under 2.00.
A native of Virginia Beach, Va., Knight is a graduate of Salem High.