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Phoenix's VanArsdall earns PWSA's Female Leader Award
 August 30, 2013


PHOENIX – Phoenix College is proud to announce that PC Assistant Softball Coach Gina VanArsdall (JEE-nuh VANN-AHRZ-dahl) HYNS MYOO-luhr) has been named the recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Female Leader Award by the Phoenix Women’s Sports Association.  The accolade to VanArsdall was one of three annual awards handed out by the PWSA, which is a non-profit organization whose main goal is to help empower girls and women through athletics.  The awards were handed out to the recipients at center court at U.S. Airways Arena in Phoenix during halftime of Sunday’s Phoenix Mercury game. 

For VanArsdall, the announcement of the award caps off a whirlwind 18 months of athletic achievement and comeback.  VanArsdall made national news in the spring of 2012 when she ended 15 years of college athletics ‘inactivity’ when she returned to the softball pitching circle at Bears’ Softball Stadium to pitch for the Lady Bears as a 37-year-old mother of four.  VanArsdall, who originally pitched her freshman year for Bears’ Head Softball Coach Heinz Mueller in 1997 and still holds the school softball record for lowest earned run average for a season (0.67) from that year, showed absolutely no rust from her time off to raise a family when she returned to the Bears’ squad last year.  VanArsdall led the ’12 Lady Bears all the way to the NJCAA Division II Softball Championship, notching an impressive 28-5 record with a 2.05 ERA and 140 strikeouts over a whopping 212 innings of work-accomplishing all of it as the oldest junior college softball player in the country that year. 

Once the year ended, Mueller knew that VanArsdall-who was already considered a ‘coach on the field’ for him-was too valuable to let go of, and offered her a assistant coach position on his staff.  Having VanArsdall work with the Bears’ 18- and 19-year-old pitchers helped bring the 2013 version of the Bears’ Softball team another Region I Championship and right back to the NJCAA Division II National Championship Game.   

VanArsdall watched her mentor, Mueller, be honored in his own right last Saturday, cheering for him in the audience as he was inducted into the Arizona Softball Foundation Hall of Fame, before she had the chance to take her own bows in front of thousands at U.S. Airways Arena Sunday afternoon.  Now the two get ready to collaborate again as ‘fall ball’ is right around the corner for the 2014 Lady Bears, who will look for their 10th national championship when they commence their regular season schedule January 31st at Bears’ Softball Stadium on PC’s main campus.

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