Charlotte hires Gamecock alum as head softball coach
Charlotte 49ers Director of Athletics Mike Hill has announced the hiring of Ashley Chastain as head softball coach. Chastain, who is coming off a trip to the NCAA Super Regionals with Ole Miss, has served as the pitching coach at Ole Miss, Michigan State and the College of Charleston since her playing days at South Carolina. She was named the 2019 Softball America Pitching Coach of the Year.
“This is a huge coup for our softball program,” Hill said. “Ashley is universally regarded as one of the best pitching coaches in the country. For her to leave an SEC team that advanced to the Super Regionals speaks volumes about Ashley and her shared vision of what we believe Charlotte 49ers softball can and will be. She is a high-character person and a winner who brings instant credibility to our program.”
“I am extremely humbled and excited to be the next head softball coach for the Charlotte 49ers,” Chastain said. “I would like to thank Mike Hill and Chris Thomasson for this incredible opportunity. The vision we share for the future of this program is one of championship culture. We are going to build a foundation of competitive excellence in every aspect of the program in order to provide our student athletes the best experience possible. We are looking forward to getting the Charlotte community excited about 49er softball!”
Chastain helped the Rebels advance to the NCAA Super Regionals this past year with a 41-20 record, boasting a 2.29 team ERA and a .238 opponents’ batting average. The Rebels won the NCAA Oxford Regional, allowing only seven runs over five games, to advance to the Super Regionals.
In 2018, Ole Miss owned a 32-25 record and advanced to the NCAA Regionals with a 2.80 team ERA and a .252 opponents’ batting average.
The Rebels posted 24 shutouts over her two seasons, there. In 2019, the Rebels had the fifth lowest ERA and third most strikeouts in the SEC and her staff included newcomer Molly Jacobsen, a junior college transfer who earned Second Team All-SEC and Second Team NFCA All-South Region honors. In 2018, one of Chastain’s stars, Kaitlin Lee, became the second Rebel ever selected in the NPF Draft (4th round, Aussie Spirit).
Chastain was an assistant coach/pitching coach for one season at Michigan State, helping the Spartans to a 34-24 overall record and a run to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals and the National Invitational Softball Championships (NISC). The Michigan State pitching staff lowered its team ERA by nearly a run and a half from the previous season.
Chastain was the pitching coach for three seasons at the College of Charleston and helped the Cougars to a 99-68 record during that span. In her final season with the Cougars, College of Charleston had a 35-23 record while the pitching staff posted the eighth lowest opponent batting average (.242) in school history. She produced four All-Colonial Athletic Association players and three NFCA All-Region stars in her three years.
A native of Palmetto, Georgia, Chastain pitched for three seasons at South Carolina and finished 11th in career relief appearances for the Gamecocks. She led the team in starts, innings pitched and ERA during her junior season. She was a three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll. She served as a graduate assistant coach for South Carolina following her playing career. In 2012-13 she served as the pitching coach for the German National Team.
A 2011 graduate of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in history, Chastain earned her master’s degree in secondary education from USC in 2012.