Skyhawk Softball | Sarah Daws - Assistant Coach
Sarah Daws enters her 11th season as an assistant softball coach at UT Martin. Daws, who was a four-year member of the Skyhawk softball program as a catcher from 2001-04, works primarily with the pitchers and catchers, along with providing hitting instruction.
Over the course of her 10 seasons with the UT Martin program, Daws has coached two OVC Players of the Year in Leah Taylor and Megan Williams along with a pair of OVC Pitchers of the Year in Chelsea Jones and Paij LIntz. Since joining the staff in 2008, the Skyhawks have boasted four National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Region athletes, 17 All-OVC first team recipients, 14 All-OVC second team honorees and 14 All-Newcomers.
During the 2017 season, the Skyhawks tallied 39 wins and clinched the program’s third postseason berth with an at-large selection into the inaugural National Invitational Softball Championship. Offensively the team exploded to rank amongst the top-five in seven different single-season statistical program categories including stolen bases (148, first), runs (314, second), RBIs (268, second), batting average (.295, third), hits (456, third), hits per game (7.73, third) and runs per game (5.3, third). Meanwhile in the pitching circle, the Skyhawks tallied the third-most wins in a single season while tossing nine shutouts and a 3.04 team ERA.
Daws also oversaw three different offensive players who earned All-OVC honors – ranking as the most individuals during a single season for the program since 2012. Carly Gonzales (.376, 53 runs, 64 hits, 12 doubles, three triples, two home runs and 22 RBIs) and Jodie Duncan (.360, 24 runs, 64 hits, 10 doubles, nine home runs and 48 RBIs) each earned first team honors while Aeron Smith (.261, five doubles, one home run and 22 RBIs) was named to the second team.
Included in the All-OVC honors was Brooke Kennedy who posted a 23-8 overall mark with a 2.88 ERA in 189.2 innings of work while tallying 21 complete games, five shutouts and a save. Kennedy left the program ranked second in single-season victories (23), second in career victories (51), second in saves (six), second in innings pitched, third in strikeouts (424), fourth in appearances (114), fourth in complete games (48) and fifth in starts (73).
Kennedy also posted a strong junior campaign, posting a 17-14 record along with a 2.16 ERA in 210.2 innings of work. She appeared in 36 games while notching 24 complete games and four shutouts on the season. Her dominating performances included 175 strikeouts while limiting opponents to just a .223 batting average. Her season ranked in the school record books in starts (second), complete games (second), innings pitched (second), victories (fourth), strikeouts (fourth) and appearances (fifth).
In 2015, Daws helped mentor senior 1B/P Kenzi Tate who was recognized as an All-OVC first team honoree after leading the team in all three Triple Crown categories with a .345 batting average, nine home runs and 38 RBIs at the plate. Inside the circle, Tate picked up three victories. Freshman Alicia Hansen was named to the league’s All-Newcomer squad after bashing six home runs in her debut season.
Stealing the show in 2014 was the play of Gonzales who was tabbed OVC Freshman of the Year. Along with the league’s top freshman honor, Gonzales was named to the All-OVC second team and an All-Newcomer after pacing the team with a .328 batting average while hitting one home run, 17 RBIs and 11 stolen bases.
Daws spent the 2013 season working with Tate who was just a sophomore, leading the team with a 20-6 record and a 2.79 ERA en route to All-OVC first team, OVC All-Tournament team and NFCA Division I All-Region honors. In addition to Tate’s work in the circle, she led the team with a .359 batting average while hitting 13 home runs and driving in a program record 56 RBIs. Joining Tate was her battery mate, freshman Deven Wilson who garnered a spot on the OVC’s All-Newcomer squad. Wilson caught 52 games for the Skyhawks, while finishing fourth on the team with a .285 batting average with three home runs and 19 RBIs.
2012 proved to be a banner year for the Skyhawks as they clinched the program’s second OVC regular season crown. Headlining the team was OVC Pitcher of the Year and OVC Tournament Most Valuable Player Chelsea Jones who finished the season with a 28-9 overall record and a 2.30 ERA. In addition to leading the Skyhawks to their second OVC regular season title, Jones helped the Skyhawks win the OVC Tournament and advance to their second NCAA Regional where they played Georgia Tech and eventual national champion Alabama. Jones was one of 10 players who received OVC accolades that season while also being named to the NFCA All-Region team.
In addition to Jones’ success, freshman catcher Lauren Smith and freshman pitcher Casey Vincent were named to the league’s All-Newcomer team. Vincent finished the year with a 9-5 worksheet and a 3.11 ERA. The Skyhawks were 39-21 overall in 2012, and the team sported an ERA of 2.80.
In 2011, Daws worked with pitcher Amanda Brandenburg who was named the league’s Freshman of the Year. Brandenburg also was named to the All-OVC first team and All-Newcomer team. The Skyhawks were third in the OVC in pitching in 2011 with a team ERA of 2.95.
The Skyhawks posted the program’s first OVC regular season title in 2010 behind OVC Pitcher of the year and All-OVC first-team Paij Lintz. Lintz posted a 25-3 overall record with a 2.11 ERA in 172.1 innings of work while tossing five shutouts and two saves. She also coached pitcher Kate Vanderham (16-4, 1.65 ERA) and catcher Laurie Lindow (.287, nine doubles, eight home runs, 39 RBIs) who were both All-OVC first-team selections. As a pitching staff, the Skyhawks would set a program record with 47 wins and 14 shutouts while posting a miniscule 2.18 team ERA and striking out 325.
Joining the staff in 2008, Daws was also an integral part of the team’s 2009 run through the OVC Softball Championship – ranking as the first team to ever drop its first game in the double-elimination tournament and post five consecutive wins en route to winning the tournament title and punch the program’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Before returning to her alma mater, Daws was at Mill Creek High School where she was a special education teacher and served as an assistant coach with the varsity softball program and as head coach of the junior varsity program.
Prior to her coaching career at UT Martin, Daws was the opening day catcher all four years of her Skyhawk career. Daws earned the team defensive award in 2001 and the golden glove in 2003. She also earned accolades on the conference level, being named All-OVC Honorable Mention in 2002 and All-OVC Second Team in 2003. Daws still appears in the program's record books 13 times and is among the top-five in five categories.
Daws is the daughter of Barbara Daws and has one older brother, Geordy. She attended Brentwood High School where she was a two-sport athlete in softball and volleyball. On the diamond, Daws collected all-district accolades in 1998, 1999 and 2000. She was named to the all-district tournament team in 1999 and 2000 along with being named to the all-region team in 2000. She led her team to district championships in 1997, 1998 and 2000, regional championships in 1997, 1998 and 2000, and a sub-state championship in 1998.
Daws graduated from UT Martin in 2004 with a degree in education.
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