TULSA — Crissy Strimple has taken a lot of what she learned while playing for hall of fame coach Eric Iverson during her two years at Northeastern A&M and has put it to use as associate head coach at the University of Tulsa.
Strimple was a two-time All-Region II selection (2000-2001) and earned NJCAA All-American honors as a sophomore.
She had a .432 career batting average for the Lady Norse.
In her 11th year as a member of the coaching staff and seventh as associate head coach at Tulsa, Strimple was inducted into the NEO Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014.
“He (Iverson) does a great job of getting the best out of all of his athletes,” she said. “I have taken some of the philosophies he had and taken them to TU and the places I have been. We try to instill that into our players.”
The Golden Hurricane (33-23) face Missouri at 3:30 p.m. in the opener at the NCAA Norman Regional Friday, May 18.
Two-time defending national champion Oklahoma — the No. 4 overall seed — faces Boston University in the other game at 6 p.m. Friday.
NEO product Shannon Hughes has played a role in the success of the Hurricane.
“She has really helped us solidify our defensive strengths,” Strimple said. “We had been moving some players in and out and have had some really good athletes, but she is an every day player to step into that shortstop position. A lot of times, that is the cornerstone of your defense.
“She did such a good job, but I expected that of her. That’s what we do when we go to NEO. You will be a good defensive player when you leave NEO.”
Pitcher Emily Watson was named the American’s most outstanding player for the second straight year.
Watson allowed one run and struck out eight in TU’s 4-1 win over top-seeded South Florida in the championship game.
“You have those players that are just ‘big game players’ and she is one of them,” Strimple said. “She loves that atmosphere and the environment. You can look back at our schedule and any time we have a pretty good opponent come in, she has really rallied to the challenge.”
Tulsa has won three of the last four championships in the American Athletic Conference and four of five dating back to the Golden Hurricane’s final season in C-USA.
All of TU’s 10 trips to a regional tournament have come during the tenure of head coach John Bargfeldt.
“It’s kind of interesting when you look back at the history and what he’s been able to do and what we’ve been able to do over the last 10 years is pretty impressive,” Strimple said. “It gives me the chills even thinking about it. I am happy to be a part of it.”