Amanda Fortune enters her first season as a volunteer assistant coach for the University of Illinois softball team. A former Illini pitcher, Fortune will be primarily working with the pitching staff in addition to other duties.
A four-year letterwinner, Fortune led the Illini to the NCAA Sweet 16 and a No. 17 ranking in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association poll as a senior in 2004. After her stellar senior season in which she produced 31 wins and a 1.24 ERA, Fortune was named to the College Softball World Series Region 3 All-Tournament Team and also earned First-Team All-Great Lakes Region honors and First-Team All-Big Ten acclaim.
The Newhall, Calif., native also tops the Illinois career charts for each of the following: lowest ERA (1.50), lowest opponent batting average (.215), most appearances (158), most games started (105), most complete games (67), most shutouts (33), most innings pitched (755.1), and most strikeouts (470), while sharing the lead for saves (six).
Fortune returns to her alma mater after spending last season as an assistant at Northern Illinois and the two previous years as an assistant at Wright State. Fortune, who earned her bachelor's degree in sport management, will continue her education at Illinois, pursuing a master's degree beginning in January 2008.
"As a former player coming back to help coach, Fortune brings personal experience having gone through the program and a knowledge of what it takes to compete for championships at this level," head coach Terri Sullivan said. "Our pitchers are excited to work with her. She has a really good presence about her and our pitching staff has already benefited from having her around. Her goal is to have them break her records."