Howard College Hawks Head Softball Coach Kelly Raines led the 2018 squad to in impressive 42-9 record while winning the Conference and Regional Championship. In 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2012, 2011, Coach Raines has won the Regional Tournament advancing to the National Tournament in St. George, Utah. In 2015, the Hawks finished with a 4th place finish at the National Tournament making that the best finish in program history. Coach Raines has also led the Hawks to 6 Conference Championships. Coach Raines enters her 14 season as Head Coach for the Hawks. In her 13 seasons as Head Coach, she has earned an overall record of 535-211.
Coach Raines came to Howard from NAIA Lindenwood University in Saint Charles, Missouri where she served as the head women's softball coach of the Lady Lions from 2003-2005.
The Hallsville, Missouri native began her college softball career in 1996 playing pitcher for Pensacola Junior College in Pensacola Florida, earning her Associate of Arts degree in 1997. She then continued her college career playing two years for the Lindenwood University Lions. She received several honors, including being named to the All-Tournament and All-Region team as well as earning NAIA All- American recognition for two consecutive years 1998 and 1999. She also received the prestigious award of Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-American 1998 and 1999. In 1999, Raines received her Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education majoring in Sports Management with a minor in Business Administration. She earned her Master's degree in Business Administration in December 2000 from Lindenwood University. In October of 2007 Coach Raines was inducted into the Lindenwood University Sports Hall of Fame as part of the Inaugural inductee class.
Coach Raines is no stranger to the WJCAC level of competition having served as assistant coach at Midland College for the 2001-2003 seasons. While at Midland, she helped guide the Lady Chaps to one conference championship, two region championships and two appearances at the National Tournament in Clermont, Florida finishing 4th and 7th respectively.
Howard College Athletic Director Terry Hansen describes Raines as an effective teacher/coach of the game. "She is a high energy individual and is well respected by her colleagues throughout the coaching profession. Howard College is very fortunate to have Kelly lead our women's program," said Hansen.
Coach Raines family consists of husband Scott Raines, who is the head men's basketball coach at Howard College, and 12 year old son Austen Raines.
Ashley Lopez enters her first year as the assistant coach for Hawk Softball with the 2020 season. Ashley is no stranger to Howard College as she played centerfield two years under head coach Kelly Raines in 2015 and in 2016. Lopez was part of teams claiming two conference championships, two regional championships and two trips to the NJCAA Division I Softball National Tournament, finishing 4th in the nation in 2015.
After completing her Associate Degree at Howard College, Lopez transferred to Eastern New Mexico University and was their starting centerfielder for two years, playing in 108 games throughout 2017 and 2018. Ashley graduated from Eastern New Mexico University in 2018 with her bachelor’s degree in University Studies with the emphasis in Business and Heath Physical Education.
In 2018-2019 Lopez served as the graduate assistant coach at Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) where she coached the outfielders for the 2019 season. While coaching at ENMU, Lopez helped guide Freshman Iliana Mendoza as she was named Third Team All – LSC at season’s end after finishing second on the team with a batting average of .373 and fielding percentage of .973.
Lopez is currently working on her master’s degree in Sport Administration.
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