Golden Sun Softball Camps
In the three seasons since Kristina McSweeney has taken over the Arkansas Tech softball program, one thing is certain - the Golden Suns are on the rise.
After winning 57 games in her first two seasons, the 2015 Golden Suns won 41 games (her career record now stands at 98-72), and for the first time were ranked in the national top-25, climbing as high as No. 12 before qualifying for the NCAA tournament. The Golden Suns put seven players on all-GAC squads, led by Whitney Robinson and Kambri Hill's selection to the first team, while Sydnee Clark, Morgan Vaughan, and Shanna Davidson were second-team picks. Courtney Colunga and Jalissa Gum were honorable mention picks.
In 2014, the Golden Suns finished the regular season on a seven-game winning streak, climbed into the region polls, and once again qualified for the Great American Conference tournament after posting a 31-27 record. Four Golden Suns earned all-GAC honors, as both junior Whitney Robinson and freshman Sydnee Clark earned first team honors, Ashley Keen landed on the second team, and Victoria Huie was an honorable mention selection.
Her second-season success followed an inaugural campaign where Arkansas Tech went 26-23, advancing to the GAC tourney, and put five players on all-GAC squads. In addition, sophomore Siarra Gomez was selected as the first all-America honoree in program history.
Before joining the Tech program, McSweeney spent the previous four seasons (2008-12) as the head softball coach at Seminole State College in Seminole, Okla. In her four seasons with the Trojans, she led SSC to two consecutive Top 5 finishes in the NJCAA National Tournament in 2009 and 2010 and compiled a 174-66 overall coaching record. In 2012, she led the Trojans to a 44-13 record and a runner-up finish in the NJCAA Region II Tournament. In her tenure at SSC, she coached eight All-Americans, four Academic All-Americans and had a 100 percent graduation rate with all the incoming freshman that stayed and competed for two seasons and earned an associate's degree. McSweeney's 2009 SSC team finished with a 54-11 overall record and third place in the NJCAA National Tournament, while her 2010 team finished with a 47-14 record and fourth place finish in the NJCAA National Tournament. Prior to becoming the head coach at SSC, she spent two seasons (2007-08) as an assistant coach with the Trojans and began her coaching career as the head softball and basketball coach at Miami's Southridge High School from 2003-06. In addition, she also served as an assistant volleyball coach at Southridge H.S.
A native of Miami, Fla., McSweeney played two seasons at Barry University and was a two-time NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete and was a part of two NCAA tournament teams, including one World Series squad. Her senior year in 2003, McSweeney was part of a Bucs team that finished with a 52-10 overall record and lost in the South Regional Championship game to West Florida. In her two seasons with the Bucs, McSweeney played in 73 games and made 63 starts and recorded a .247 batting average as she had 48 hits in 194 at-bats, scored 17 runs and had 25 RBIs. Prior to playing at Barry, McSweeney spent two seasons (2000-01) playing at Seminole Junior College. While at Seminole, she was named a Second-Team NJCAA All-American as a catcher in 2001 and was a two-time All-Region honoree for the Trojans. In addition, she was a First-Team NJCAA Scholar All-American. In 2001, McSweeney hit .468 with three home runs, 25 doubles and 36 RBIs in leading the Trojans to a Region II Championship and the NJCAA National Tournament. In high school at Florida Christian in Miami, she was a four-year starter at first base for coach Scott Doan. Was a four-time All-Dade County selection after recording 10 doubles, eight triples, 129 RBIs and hitting .358 for her career. Helped lead the Lady Patriots four consecutive Florida State Softball Tournament appearances, including a state runner-up finish in 1998.
McSweeney and her husband, Jim, live in Russellville with their three children.