Joplin, Mo. – A ribbon cutting and dedication for the Pat Lipira Softball Complex has been scheduled for Sunday, April 3 at 12:30 p.m. before the Lions play host to Lindenwood University in a MIAA double header.
Lipira was the Missouri Southern softball coach from 1982-2000. She compiled a record of 632-275 during this period, guiding the Lions to six NCAA Regional appearances, four MIAA Championships and the NCAA National Championship in 1992. She was a five-time MIAA Coach of the Year, two-time Regional Coach of the Year and National Coach of the Year in 1992.
Nineteen years after beginning her coaching duties, she stepped down to take on the duties of head of the Department of Kinesiology, and later accepted the post of Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs. She retired in 2015.
A committee was formed in order to help raise the funds necessary to honor Lipira, saidRobert Corn, director of development for intercollegiate athletics.
“We felt like the best way to do something to honor Pat was to have something within the softball program named for her,” said Corn. “The committee members worked extremely hard to be able to name the Pat Lipira Softball Complex. “It is a well-deserved honor and we thank the committee for their efforts and the community for making it a reality.”
“This is an honor that’s a long time coming for an individual who has meant so much to not only this university, but the Athletics Department and softball at Missouri Southern, as well,” said Jared Bruggeman, director of athletics. “Pat spent many, many hours at this facility that will now proudly don her name. This is an honor that suits her commitment not only to softball at MSSU, but the sport in general. She is truly an ambassador for Missouri Southern.”
“We would like to thank all of the donors that made this dedication possible and the committee members, Shally Lundien, Sally Beard, Maryann Mitts, Diane Miller, Tom Herrod, Sharon Clark, Lee Pound, and Robert Corn for their tireless efforts in making this happen,” added Bruggeman.