Entering her 20th season at the helm of the Kean University softball program, head coach Margie Acker has re-established the Cougars competitively both in the NJAC and across the region. Acker has led the team to seven NCAA Tournaments, including a trip to the 2015 College World Series. Acker owns 435 career victories at Kean.
Acker guided the softball program to its seventh-straight season of at least 20 wins in 2018 and its fifth-straight season of appearances in the NJAC Touranment. Three players were named to the All-Conference and NFCA All-East Region.
Acker guided the softball program to its sixth-straight season of at least 20 wins in 2017, and helped mold senior infielder Emily Sabo into a Division III All-American – just the sixth Cougar to ever earn the distinction. The Cougars 36 wins were the second-most ever in program history. Sabo concluded her storied career by being named the NJAC Female Athlete of the Year, just the fifth person in Kean history to garner an NJAC Player of the Year nod. Kean reached the NCAA Super Regionals (capturing the NJAC Championship and NCAA Union Regional Championship along the way). The Cougars fell to eventual national champion Virginia Wesleyan University.
The 2015 team boasted two All-Americans and ended the year ranked No. 6 in the nation. She and the rest of the staff were named the 2015 National Fastpitch Coaches Association East Region Coaching Staff of the Year.
After winning a pair of New Jersey Athletic Conference Championships as a player at then-Trenton State College, Acker has surpased that total with three championships (2010, 2011, 2017) at the helm of the Cougars program.
The 2014 Cougars reached the NJAC Championship Game and swept through the NCAA Union Regional, making them one of the final 16 teams left standing in the nation.
Acker guided the Cougars back to the NCAA Division III softball tournament for the first time as a head coach in 2008, as the Cougars then posted just the third 30-win season in program history. The 2010 squad posted the then second most wins in school history, as they came within one win of the World Series en-route to finishing with 32 wins.
Her 2007 team finished as Eastern College Athletic Conference Southern Championship Runners-Up after going 24-15 during the year. The Cougars also appeared in the ECAC playoffs in 2006 and 2009.
The Cougars have been just as successful off the diamond, most recently posting the 83rd highest cumulative grade point average of the more than 400 NCAA Division III schools that sponsor softball. The Kean softball program has been ranked in each of the last 11 years, with individual academic recognition 47 times from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association as NFCA All-America Scholar Athletes. In the last eight years, four players have also earned ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District honors for their success in the classroom and on the field.
A former outfielder and catcher for then Trenton State, Acker brings an impressive personal background to the dugout. A 1992 NCAA Division III All-American outfielder for the Lions, Trenton State won 48-of-50 games and the 1992 NCAA Division III National Championship her senior season. A New Jersey Athletic Conference first-team all-star, Acker batted .438 and stole 21 bases in 25 attempts that season.
As a junior, she batted .425 and committed just one error in 31 games before having to miss the NCAA Tournament after suffering a broken arm late in the season. In addition to being an accomplished outfielder, Acker also spent time as the Lions catcher, helping lead her team to a 92-9 overall record in her two seasons in a Lions' uniform.
Following her playing career, Acker served as an assistant coach at NCAA Division I Rider University in 1997-98, helping guide the Broncs to the Northeast Conference Championship and a spot in the NCAA Regional Tournament.
Prior to taking over the head coaching duties at Kean, she served as an assistant coach at Muhlenberg College in 1998-99. In her one season with the Pennsylvania school, the Mules finished second in the Centennial Conference and runners-up in the ECAC Tournament.
Acker earned a Bachelor of Science degree in health and physical education with an emphasis in corporate fitness from Trenton State College in 1993.
Chrissy Yard joins the Cougar staff for her eighth season in 2019.
She and the rest of the staff were named the 2015 National Fastpitch Coaches Association East Region Coahing Staff of the Year after leading the Cougars to their first College World Series appearance in nearly 30 years.
Yard spent two years coaching in Connecticut working as a graduate assistant for the University of New Haven in 2010 and Hartford University in 2011. During the 2010 season her team enjoyed a 42-8 record, advancing to the NCAA Division II Super Regional. Prior to coaching, Yard was a four year member of the Scarlet Knights appearing in 117 games and tossing over 400 innings. During her sophomore campaign she recorded three saves, tying her for the standard in the single-season category. Yard was also a member of the BIG EAST all-academic squads in 2008 and 2009.
The Hillsborough native received her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science and Sports Studies from Rutgers in 2009 and her Master of Science degree in Management of Sports Industries from New Haven in 2010.
Kelly Moorehead returns for her fifth season as assistant coach of the Kean softball program in 2019.
In her first season as coach, Moorehead was part of the Cougars’ 2015 National Fastpitch Coaches Association East Region Staff of the Year after helping to guide Kean to their first College World Series appearance in nearly 30 years.
An All-Region and All-NJAC selection and a four-year starter at shortstop for the Cougars from 2011-14, Moorehead batted .312 in her career with 10 homeruns and 47 extra-basehits. She drove in 103 runs, good for fifth among Kean’s all-time leaders.
Moorehead earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in psychology in 2015 and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in social work from Kean.
Sarah Prezioso returns for her fourth season as an assistant coach in 2019.
Prezioso served as assistant coach at Rutgers-Newark for two seasons and help engineer an upset in 2015 when the Scarlet Raiders stole a game from the No. 20 Cougars in their NJAC doubleheader.
She played as a professional player for the Pennsylvania Rebellion of the National Pro Fastpitch league for two seasons (2014-15). Collegiately she played at Temple University, where she was the first Owl to earn 200 career hits and broke the Atlantic-10 record for runs scored. She also set Temple record in career homeruns (28) and stolen bases (32) and the single-season homerun record as well (15).
A native of Bloomfield, she started at shortstop for the Bengals of Bloomfield High from 2007-10. Prezioso earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications Studies from Temple.
Emily Sabo joins the coaching staff in her second season in 2019.
Sabo is one of the most decorated softball players in Kean history after topping off her senior season being named the New Jersey Athletic Conference's Female Athlete of the Year.
A four-time first-team all-conference selection, she was named a first-team National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-American in 2017 after leading the Cougars to the NJAC championship, the NCAA Tournament Union Regional title, and a berth in the NCAA Tournament Virginia Beach Super Regional. The 2017 NJAC Softball Player of the Year and a 2017 NFCA Top 10 National Player of the Year Finalist, she earned Most Outstanding Player honors at the NCAA Union Regional en route to being named Kean's D'Angola Female Athlete of the Year. The 2017 NJAC conference leader in batting average and on-base percentage, Sabo finished as Kean's career leader in batting average (.456), hits (254), triples (15), runs scored (147), walks (74) and stolen bases (77). In addition, she holds the single season records in hits (67-twice) and triples (6) and single game records in walks (4) and stolen bases (4).
Additionally her accolades include NJAC Rookie of the Year (2014), First-Team NFCA All-Region (2014, 2015), Second-Team NFCA All-American (2015), ECAC All-Star (2015), Union Super Regional Most Outstanding Player (2015), Union Regional All-Tournament Team (2015).
Sabo is completing her Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice.
Dana Knapp joins the softball staff for her first season in 2019.
Knapp was a two year member of the softball team (2016, 2017) and amassed a .402 batting average with 102 hits, 83 RBI’s, 61 hits, 26 doubles, 13 homeruns and seven stolen bases. In 2016, she was named an NFCA Third-Team All-American, NFCA First-Team All-East Region, First-Team All-ECAC and First-Team All-NJAC.
The following season, she earned an All-NJAC second team selection and an NFCA All-Region Third Team selection as the Cougars won the NJAC Championship and eventually advanced to the super regionals in Virginia.
Knapp transferred in from Mercer County Community College, where she played two years and was named the Garden State Player of the Year in 2015.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Kean in 2017 and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Human Behavior and Organizational Psychology.