EL PASO, Texas – UTEP Softball Head Coach T.J. Hubbard announced another major offseason addition Wednesday afternoon bringing in former Delaware State Softball baseball coach Lena Springer. Springer, an Ohio State softball alumna, spent the past two years in Dover, Del., leading the Hornets’ pitching staff. “(Springer) has experience at a high-level playing within the Big 10 and even on the international stage,” Hubbard said. “I believe her experience as a player also as a teacher will help lead a number of these newcomers that we’ve also because of the program itself to an entirely another level within Conference USA and even on a regional scale.”
“It’s been an honor having the ability to urge to understand coach Hubbard the past few weeks,” Springer said. “I’ve really appreciated the time he has taken to urge to understand me on a more personal level and taking the time to value my knowledge of pitching and softball. i used to be extremely grateful for getting the chance to return bent El Paso in July and going to know (assistant coach Camilla Carrera). they’re such great people and seeing where they’re taking the UTEP softball program is extremely exciting.”
Prior to Delaware State, Springer was an assistant baseball coach at NCAA Division III Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., in spring 2019. She has also served as a personal softball pitching and hitting instructor for the CT Diamond Club in East Hartford, Conn., and Bo Jackson Elite Sports Facility in Hilliard, Ohio. Springer, 26 years old and a native of latest Britain, Conn., brings a competitive spirit also as Power-5 playing experience at UCF (2013-14) and Ohio State (2014-17), participating in three NCAA Regional Tournaments (UCF in 2014, Ohio State in 2016, 2017).
Springer completed her senior season with a 2.74 ERA, 8-4 record, and ranked second on the Buckeyes with 74 innings pitched. Springer competed for 3 current NCAA Division I head coaches in Ruben Felix and Renee Luers-Gillispie at UCF and Kelly Kovach Schoenly at Ohio State. Felix is now the interim head coach at Ole Miss and Gillispie is that the head coach at Iowa. Springer will lead a pitching group with four new arms: Virginia Tech sophomore transfer Kaylee Hewitt and freshmen Annika Litterio, Aalijah Alarcon, and Kaylin Jackson.
Those four will join four returners in juniors Zaylie Calderon and Isabella Kelly and sophomores Mackenzee Collins and Victoria Salazar. “As (an incoming) coach, you can’t help but get excited about and even more invested into the program once you see what (Hubbard and Carrera) do,” Springer said. “I love the culture they’ve created.” UTEP softball remains seeking its first Conference USA Championship and NCAA Tournament in appearance after 18 seasons within the program’s history.
“As a former player, I do know I’ve always searched to those that are there and done that,” Springer said. “(Competing within the NCAA Tournament) are moments you train for your entire career for and having someone say, ‘I know what it takes to urge you there,’ are some things the athletes at UTEP are going to be able to trust with me. … Everything about UTEP softball is there, but we’ve needed to get the pitching there. I’m really excited about the challenge with the staff and incoming players there now to show UTEP into one among the highest programs within the conference.” Springer comes from a robust athletic lineage. Her mother, Laura Springer, and father, George Springer, Sr., competed in gymnastics and football, respectively, at Connecticut.
Her sister, Nicole Springer, played softball at Central Connecticut State. Her brother, George Springer, Jr., was the 11th overall selection of the 2011 big league Baseball Draft and was a 2017 World Series Champion with the Houston Astros. He now plays for the Toronto Blue Jays. Ruben Felix, Ole Miss Interim Head Coach “Especially in fastpitch softball, it’s so important to possess good pitchers and behind good pitchers have an honest baseball coach. (Springer) brings a wealth of softball experience having been an excellent player at an elite level at UCF and Ohio State. Obviously, having the name Springer goes to assist with recruiting. Her being a young coach in her coaching career is additionally getting to help to recruit because they need an equivalent kind of background – growing up and playing travel ball – as this generation of athletes.”
Kelly Kovach Schoenly, Ohio State Head Coach “(Springer) may be a highly knowledgeable competitor. She’s very game savvy as far as she understands the rhythm of the sport and therefore the big moments as a player and as a teacher. She’s specialized at building trust together with her pitchers and she or he are going to be someone that they work well with.”