Starters Softball Adds Four New Pitching Coaches
Starters Softball is proud to announce that we have hired four new pitching coaches to help grow the Starters Softball program and continue to offer our clients and athletes the highest quality instruction in the business.
A New Chapter for the Starters Softball Club
After the exciting news of Starters' Assistant Softball Director and Pitching Coach, Tori Finucane, getting the opportunity and pursuing her dream of being a Division I coach for the University of Maryland. Starters Softball is excited to evolve into a new chapter of giving even more exceptional Collegiate Softball Athletes the opportunity to learn, improve, and grow their coaching experience and resume to hopefully realize and pursue their own dreams staying within the game of softball to help younger athletes realize their own dreams!
"Starters Sports Training and Starters Softball are very excited and honored to bring on these four amazing coaches to help bolster our coaching staff and raise our level of instruction even more. With the addition of four more exceptional pitching coaches we are looking forward to helping even more pitchers in the area raise their games to the next level and achieve the goals that they have set for themselves," said Starters Director of Softball Sam Macken
Starters’ New Pitching Instructors
JULIE GRAF | Pitching Coach
Julie is a Washington native, who graduated in 2016 from Eastlake High School. During her high school career, she was a four-time letter winner, All-Conference Honorable Mention as a sophomore and junior, All-Conference 2nd Team as a senior, captained as a junior and senior, named team MVP as a senior, and a four-time Scholar Athlete award winner.
After high school, she went on to continue her academic and athletic career at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where she is currently a Junior. In 2017, she was a second team NFCA All-America Selection... Was one of two first years that earned the All-America honor... Had one of the best seasons in St. Olaf history... On top of All-America honors she was an NFCA First Team All-Region selection, MIAC Pitcher-of-the-Year, MIAC Rookie-of-the-Year, as well as First Team All-MIAC... She was the MIAC's Pitcher-of-the-Week four times and had two five-game stretches where she did not allow a run... She posted school records in ERA (0.73), strikeouts (272), wins (22) and complete games (21)... She was third in the nation in ERA (0.73) and strikeouts (272), fifth in strikeouts per seven innings, tied for ninth in wins (22) and 11th in shutouts (9)... She was 22-5 and allowed one or less run in all but five of her 31 appearances.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of a very knowledgeable Starters' staff and to have a positive impact on young female athletes. I am so excited to help developing pitchers succeed both in the circle and at life!” -Julie Graf
KRISTA FLUGSTAD | Pitching Coach
Krista grew up in Bloomington, MN, where she attended Bloomington Jefferson and helped the softball team to four-consecutive state championship appearances and consolation championships. As a senior captain, she was named to the all-tournament team, earned all-state honors and was selected for the Star Tribune all-metro second team. She was also all-conference and all-section as a junior and senior. Outside of athletics, she was a member of the National Honors Society, the math team, and the ping pong team.
After high school, she decided to take her softball skills to St. Kate's University. While at St. Kate's, she saw much success receiving accolades such as being named the Conference Rookie-of-the-Year, All-Conference, All-Region, and All-American honors. In addition to her success on the field, she also found success off earning academic recognition such as All-America Scholar Athlete and Academic All-District. While at St. Kate's, her team earned a spot in the Conference Tournament three times, winning it once in 2017 when she was named the Conference Tournament MVP.
Her team also earned a spot in the NCAA tournament twice and made it all the way to the World Series once. During their NCAA tournament appearances, she had the honor of being named the Regional Tournament Co-MVP and the Super Regional Tournament Most Outstanding Pitcher awards one time each. To wrap up all her lengthy awards, she currently holds several pitching records for St. Kate's.
CALLI MAKI | Pitching Coach
Calli, is a Freshman pitcher for Bethel University and a graduate from Maple Lake High School, where she was a four-year all-conference player/pitcher. She was a three-time All Section Team award winner, All State Honorable Mention third baseman, and two- time First Team All-State award winner as a pitcher. In 2017, her team finished second at the State High School Tournament and finished State Champions in 2018. Calli was named to the State All-Tournament Team both years. Calli’s last two years of high school win/loss record was 42–2, with 368 strikeouts. In Calli’s senior year, she was chosen to play in the State High School All Star Game and also for Team Minnesota in the Border Battle Softball Game vs. Wisconsin. She is a Minnesota State High School League All Time Record Setter for Fewest Earned Runs Allowed for 3 Games (0) at the State Girls’ Softball Tournament. Calli also earned All-State award in Academics. One of Calli’s favorite memories from the State Softball Tournament is throwing a complete game and hitting a grand slam to help her team advance to the championship game.
Calli is continuing her softball career under Head Coaches Penny and Roman Foore. Calli is excited to further develop her skills and knowledge of the game while studying to become an Athletic Trainer.
“I am beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to work at Starter Sports Training so I can pass her knowledge, training and experiences onto other athletes and their future successes.” -Calli Maki
MORGAN MEISSNER | Pitching Coach
Morgan is from Maple Grove, MN, where she attended Heritage Christian Academy. She was a four-sport athlete, playing softball, basketball, soccer, and trap shooting. However, softball is where her true passion lies. She was a four-time letter winner playing 8th grade-12th grade, and a three-time All-Conference player.
After high school, she decided to take her softball skills to Bethel University, in St. Paul, MN. Currently, she is a sophomore studying Elementary and Special Education. She is primarily a pitcher, but also sees time on the corners.
“I am very excited to be working here at Starters Sports Training! I love the sport and love working with people and can’t wait to do both here!” -Morgan Meissner
Starters Pitching Academy classes and personal lessons are now available for everybody to sign up for and to take advantage of the incredible knowledge that these women have gained and will continue to gain in the incredible sport of softball!
To learn more about the Starters Softball Pitching Academies, please click here.
To book a lesson with one of these amazing coaches as well as any of the other coaches in the Starters Softball Program, please click here.