Ethan Westerman is a reporter for the Hawgs Sports Network. He has bachelor's degrees in journalism and marketing from the University of Arkansas.
'He's a wizard': UA softball to receive consulting from acclaimed pitching coach
Razorback pitcher Chenise Delce pitches in Game 3 of the Super Regionals against Texas. (Photo Courtesy: Walt Beazley, Arkansas Athletics)
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas softball coach Courtney Deifel announced Friday her program will receive consulting this season from one of the sport’s most respected pitching minds.
John Bargfeldt, who was head coach at Tulsa for 14 years and retired in June after four seasons as Oklahoma State’s pitching coach, will help give advice to Deifel regarding the Razorbacks’ pitching staff. He was part of a Cowgirls staff that is on the heels of three consecutive Women’s College World Series appearances.
“John Bargfeldt is going to be consulting with us,” Deifel said. “I’m really, really excited to get his expertise and perspective. He’s a wizard.”
During his time at Oklahoma State, Bargfeldt helped develop All-America pitchers such as Kelly Maxwell, Lexi Kilfoyl and Carrie Eberle.
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Arkansas returns pitchers Hannah Camenzind, Nikki McGaffin, Robyn Herron and Callie Turner, and the Razorbacks added Morgan Leinstock (Southern Miss) and Reis Beuerlein (Mississippi State) from the NCAA transfer portal. Freshman Kasey Wood (Bentonville) also joins the staff.
“I’m really excited about this group,” Deifel said. “I think it’s probably the most well-rounded staff that we’ve had. Now we don’t have that lockdown No. 1 ace that we’ve had, like that’s kind of been our M.O. with Chenise [Delce] and Mary [Haff] and Autumn [Storms].
"But last year, outside of Chenise, we really just had a very similar profile throughout our staff. What we’ve done is just kind of hit everything. We made it a lot more complete, and so I think you’ll see a lot more matchups [and] I think you’re going to see a lot more pairings.”
As the team begins fall practices, Deifel said identifying which pitching pairs complement each other best will be key.
“That’s the big thing that I want to see through the fall,” she said. “Who matches up well together? Who pairs well together?”
She added that Leinstock and Beuerlein have added new dimensions to the team.
“Morgan is seasoned,” Deifel said. “She’s pitched a lot of games [and] she’s been their workhorse. Reis, I think, has a profile that most kind of mirrors Chenise’s, so it’s, ‘How dynamic can we make that?’
“I’m just really excited to get to work with them, and then having the experience of our young ones and having Callie and adding Kasey in this freshman class. I think we have a lot of tools that we can use together.”
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