ATLANTA – Head coach Roger Kincaid announced Wednesday that two-time NFCA All-Region pitcher Mackenzie Popescue has joined the Georgia State softball staff as the team’s pitch coaching and assistant coach Todd Downes has been promoted to assistant head coach.
Downes has spent the past three seasons as the top assistant coach helping GSU win 104 games. Last season he helped the team set a new single-season home run record with 59, eclipsing the previous mark of 47. The 2014 squad also finished second in the Sun Belt in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, hits, runs scored and RBI in one of the better offensive seasons in program history.
“Todd is a crucial part of our program and His experience is invaluable,” Kincaid said. “His new title is in recognition of all of the hard work and dedication he has shown at Georgia State. He will be a key part of our continued success in the future.”
Popescue, a native of Scottsdale, Ariz., comes to Atlanta after an illustrious career at Arizona State. She finished with a career ERA of 2.12 with 59 wins, three no-hitters, four all-conference selections and won the 2011 national championship during her time with the Sun Devils.
“We are very excited about Mackenzie joining our staff,” Kincaid said. “She will bring a lot of energy and passion to the position. She was a highly successful pitcher in a difficult Pac-12 Conference and brings a national championship pedigree.”
As a redshirt senior, Popescue finished 2014 with a 20-3 record and a 2.15 ERA which earned NFCA West All-Region first team honors and the Pac 12 All-Conference second team. She threw her third career no-hitter against Southern Mississippi en route to an 8-0 victory in five innings.
In 2013, she posted a 1.94 ERA with 19 wins, three saves and opened the season with a perfect 13-0 record in non-conference play. Popescue pitched a career-high 140.2 innings, including an inning in Super Regional play and 5.1 innings in two games at the Women’s College World Series. She was named to the NFCA All-Region second team and the Pac-12 All-Conference second team.
During her redshirt sophomore campaign in 2011, Popescue threw her first career no-hitter against Wichita State in an 11-0 win in five innings. She finished the season with 51.2 innings pitched with a 2.30 ERA and 7-2 overall record as her team went on to win the Women’s College World Series.
As a redshirt freshman, she posted a 13-3 overall record and a 2.22 ERA through 97.2 innings pitched. Popescue was named Pac-10 Academic All-Conference team honorable mention, Pac-10 All-Conference honorable mention and selected to the Pac-10 All-Freshman team.
Popescue graduated from Arizona State in 2014 with a degree in exercise and wellness.