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Softball coach named tops in the conference this year

Kristen Butler has been named Mid-American Conference Softball Coach of the Year by her peers.

Butler has led the Rockets to a 33-19 overall record and a 16-7 mark in conference play.

Toledo was picked to finish fifth in the MAC West Division, but exceeded all expectations by clinching a share of the MAC West title.

Butler reached the 100-career win mark with the Rockets two weekends ago at Central Michigan.

She also has become the first coach at Toledo to win 30 games in a season since 1995 and the first to win 20-plus games in four-straight seasons during the last 21 years.

Butler becomes only the second Toledo head coach to win the MAC award, joining three-time winner Cheryl Sprangel (1985, 1989, 1992).

The Rockets won their first-round game in the MAC Tournament last night in dramatic fashion: Brittney Davis hit her first collegiate home run — a walk-off two-run shot in the 10th inning to lift Toledo to an 8-6 win in Akron.

Toledo advances to the winner’s bracket to play No. 7 seed Northern Illinois today at 3:30 p.m.