Cougars outhit 13-8 in Sunday's finale but outscore Blazers 6-5
Abbie Sims enters her fifth season as an assistant coach for head coach Kyla Holas, taking charge of the pitching and catching for the University of Houston and overseeing the recruiting database management. She also serves as the camp director for the Cougar Softball Camp.
In 2011, the Houston pitching staff led the nation in team era (1.35) as the three hurlers dominated the opposition bats all season long. Senior Amanda Crabtree led the nation in strikeouts per game (12.0) and hits allowed (2.85) as she was named to the NFCA All-Region and C-USA Second Team. Senior Donna Bourgeois was named the conference's Newcomer of the Year and to the second team All-Conference team as the two seniors combined to throw four no hitters. Freshman Diedre Outon was named to the All-Freshman Team. The Cougars combined to throw four no hitters (Crabtree 3, Bourgeois 1) that year.
In 2010, Sims guided freshman Bailey Watts to a spot on the Conference USA All-Freshman Team. Watts' 2.85 ERA in her rookie campaign placed her in the league's top-15 to finish the season. Sims also worked with junior Amanda Crabtree, who will enter the 2011 season with the third-lowest career opposing batting average in program history (.202).
"I have been very pleased with Abbie's time here," Holas said. "She transitoned in well to our philosphy and made an immediate impact in our pitching staff. I look to her to contine to grow as she develops this young staff."
Under Sims, Angel Shamblin broke single-season records including the lowest ERA (0.94), most strikeouts in a game (16), and most wins in a season (36) in 2008.
Sims also helped guide Shamblin to C-USA All-Tournament team honors at the 2008 C-USA Championship, and she was named the 2008 C-USA Pitcher of the Year.
Shamblin was the 2008 C-USA Female Athlete of the Year. She was the first softball player and fourth Cougar to be honored with that award.
With Shamblin's 36 wins and lowest ERA in a single-season, she was also named to the All-C-USA First Team, as well as NFCA All-South Region First Team. As a senior, Shamblin finished out the season with the second highest in C-USA career victories with 94 total wins. She also was second in C-USA career strikeouts with 877. Under Sims, Shamblin was honored with six C-USA Pitcher of the Week awards (Feb. 18, March 10, March 17, March 31, April 14, May 5). Shamblin also pitched a perfect game against Memphis on March 29.
With Sims guidance, Barbie Love finished with the lowest opposing batting average in C-USA with .162.
As a student-athlete, Sims became the first-ever NC State softball player to be named ACC Player of the Year in 2007. She had an impressive senior campaign as she tossed four no-hitters, including a perfect game. She owned the second-best pitching record (27-7) in the conference as well as one of the top marks in the nation.
In addition, Sims is one of five pitchers in ACC history to have collected 1,000 or more career strikeouts (1,091). A native of Artesia, N.M., she also saw action as an outfielder for the Wolfpack, compiling a .292 batting average with 45 hits, 25 runs scored, 11 home runs and 27 RBIs her senior year.
One of two ACC student-athletes to receive National Player of the Week recognition in 2007, Sims was tabbed by USA Softball (March 20) and Louisville Slugger/NFCA (April 22). She was also the only student-athlete named ACC Player of the Week four times in a season. In 2007, Sims made her third appearance as an All-ACC First-Team member, garnishing accolades in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
Sims finished her career at NC State as the active leader in career victories among all league hurlers and fourth all-time in wins by ACC pitchers with 90. With 1,091 strikeouts, Sims placed fourth all-time among ACC pitchers. Additionally, Sims' 102 complete games ranks fifth all-time and was tops among active pitchers in 2007.
Her pitching prowess was never more obvious than when she tossed a no-hitter over No. 6 Oklahoma at the Judi Garman Classic on March 16 in Fullerton, Calif. The Sooners entered the game as the nation's top offensive unit overall, leading the country in scoring and batting average, and ranked near the top of nearly every hitting statistic. None of that mattered to Sims, however, who allowed just four base runners while striking out 10 batters.
As Sims departed the Wolfpack she owned many of the program's all-time pitching records, including lowest career ERA (1.69), lowest opponent batting average (.179), wins (90), saves (5), appearances (146), starts (121), complete games (102), games finished (25), shutouts (36), innings pitched (836.2), strikeouts (1,091) and batters faced (3,491).
Since graduating with a bachelor's degree in business management, Sims played one season with the Rockford Thunder of the National Pro Fastpitch league in Rockford, Ill.