Softball Coaching Staff
Sam Macken - Softball Director
Sam attended Rochester Lourdes High School where she graduated in 2013. A Minnesota native, she attended the University of Minnesota, Twins Cities, where she lettered four years and started both infield and outfield. She was awarded 3 Academic All B1G Ten Honors, was a 2-Time Distinguished Scholar, received both 1st and 2nd Team All B1G Ten honors and was a 2-Time NFCA All-Region selection. Her freshman year she sealed the Gophers 1st B1G Ten championship in 15 years with a walk off hit and was instrumental in helping the Gophers to their first ever Super Regional with a go-ahead home run against Auburn in the NCAA Regional final. Sam helped lead the Gophers to 3 B1G Ten Championships, 4 NCAA Tournaments and a Super Regional in her 4-year career. She ended her career ranked 2nd All-Time in runs scored and 4th All-Time in doubles. Her career batting average was 0.339. In her senior season she was awarded the B1G Ten Sportsmanship Award and was a Top-30 Finalist for the Senior CLASS Award. The Gophers won over 190 games in her 4-year career and establish the winningest season ever in 2017 going 56-5. Sam graduated in 2017 with a degree in Business Marketing and a minor in Sports Management.
TAYLOR LEMAY - Hitting & Catching
Taylor attended East Ridge High School in Woodbury, MN where she graduated in 2012. Her collegiate career began at Concordia University St. Paul MN, but upon the completion of her freshman year, she transferred to the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, where she was a three-year letter winner for the Gophers and started as the catcher each of those three seasons. She earned 2 Academic All B1G Ten honors, 2nd Team All B1G Ten Honors, was a 2-time NFCA All-Region selection, and was the 2016 B1G Ten Defensive Catcher of the Year. Taylor was an important part of two B1G Ten Championships in 2014 and 2016, 3 NCAA Tournaments, and the Gophers first ever Super Regional during her time with the Gophers. She ended her career being a consistent .300 hitter, and a solid backstop behind the plate with a .991 fielding percentage. Over her three-year career, the Gophers won 134 games. Taylor graduated in 2016 with her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. She was also the Volunteer Assistant for the University of Minnesota during their 2017 season. She primarily worked with the catchers, as well as working with pitchers during practice and games. She is now attending the University of St. Thomas getting her Masters in Physical and Health Education.
Tori Finucane- Pitching
Tori, a Maryland native and 2013 graduate of Bishop O’Connell High School (VA), is a two-time NFCA First Team High School All-American. Her high school career also included back-to-back Gatorade Virginia Softball Player of the Year awards in 2012 and 2013. Her college career began at the University of Missouri, where as a freshman in the Southeastern Conference, compiled a 21-6 record with a 1.73 ERA. Also during her freshman season, she won SEC Pitcher of the week and NFCA National Player of the Week after going 2-0 on the road against the #3 ranked team in the country, the Florida Gators, including a 10-strikeout performance to clinch the series. Additional recognition during her freshman season included being named the 2014 SEC Freshman of the Year, 1st Team All-SEC, SEC All Freshman Team, and NFCA National Freshman of the Year Top 10 Finalist. As a sophomore, Tori compiled a 21-8 record and was named Second Team All-SEC. After a junior season that was limited due to injuries, Tori completed her final year of eligibility at the University of Minnesota. In her lone season with the Gophers, the team set numerous school records, including a #1 ranking in the NFCA/USA Today Coaches Poll and a 56-5 record for the season.
Hannah Evavold- Pitching
Hannah attended Jefferson High School in Bloomington, Minnesota where she graduated in 2013. She went on to pitch at the University of Minnesota for three years receiving Distinguished Honor Awards, AFCA Academic Honors, All Academic Big Ten Honors in 2014, 2015, 2016, was named Female Student-Athlete of the Month July 2016, and named Teammate of the Year for 2016. Hannah has coached fall, winter, and summer softball for the past four years, three of the years being a head coach. She has also been a pitching instructor since high school and feels comfortable conducting both individual and group pitching lessons. Hannah graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Human Resource Development and Psychology with minors in Human Resource Industrial Relations and Leadership.
Erika Smyth - Starters Softball Club Coach
Erika, a Washington state native and 2011 graduate of Kentlake High School, is a two time First Team All-League award winner and four-time Gold Glove award winner as a high school short stop. She still holds her high school record for most plate appearances without a strike out (182). She was recruited by former Gopher Softball Head Coach Jessica Allister, and signed her NLI to play softball at the University of Minnesota where she was a four-year letter winner. Erika was a part of the historic class of 2015 that took Gopher Softball to their first Regional appearance in 10 years in 2013, first Big Ten Championship in 15 years in 2014, and the first Regional Championship and Super Regional appearance in 2014. She ended her career having started 110 games at second base and posted a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in 2014. She is the first and only player in Gopher Softball history to win back-to-back Teammate of the Year awards in 2014 and 2015 – the only award voted on by the players. Erika graduated in 2015 with her Bachelors in Business and Marketing and was a three-time Academic All Big Ten Award winner.
COURTNEY O'CONNOR - Hitting & Catching
Courtney graduated from Shakopee High School in 2013. While playing for Shakopee she received All-Conference Honorable mention and All-Conference honors her senior year. After graduating in 2013, Courtney went on to play for Bemidji State University, where she was a 4 year starter behind the plate. While at Bemidji she was part of a program turn around from an 11- 31 freshman year to a 28-19 her senior year. Courtney was on pace to break the program putout record until an injury ended her senior season. She also boasted a career fielding percentage of .981. She graduated from Bemidji with a degree in Exercise Science and a Coaching Certificate. Courtney has been coaching girls fastpitch for 8 years, 3 of which were spent as a head coach.
David Reyes - Starters Softball Club Coach
David attended Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, Minnesota where he graduated in 2013. He went on to play college baseball at Bemidji State University for a couple of years, and is currently a student finishing up his last academic year. He will be receiving a Bachelors of Arts in Sport Management with a minor in Human Performance. David has coached fall and summer softball for the past three years for the Clutch Hitters out of Bloomington, Minnesota. On those teams he was the primary hitting and outfield coach but also assisted with infield and catching drills. In addition, he has performed individual baseball and softball hitting and fielding lessons for the past four years and enjoys working with players of all ability levels. With David’s passion and enthusiasm for the game he will be a great asset to Starters Club Softball.
Mike Macken - Starters Softball Club Coach
Mike Macken is a Rochester, MN native and attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison where he played third base and lettered 4-years for the UW baseball program. After baseball he played competitive softball where he won more than 20 Minnesota State Championships and 6 National Championships. He started coaching fastpitch in 2003 when his daughter, Gopher, Sam Macken started playing. He coached Sam throughout her JO career, first in Rochester, then for the MN Stars (Eagan, MN). Currently, he is the Assistant Coach at Lourdes High School in Rochester, MN where he has been coaching since 2007 and is also an active member of the Rochester Youth Fastpitch Softball Association. He has been an advocate for softball players for more than 30 years.