Courtnay Foster enters her third year as the head softball coach at Bucknell in 2018, looking to build off two consecutive winning seasons in her first two seasons as a head coach.
Foster has guided the Bison to a 50-43 record through her first two years at Bucknell. The former All-American pitcher has used that playing experience and knowledge to help two Bison pitchers earn All-Patriot League honors. In her first season with the team, Foster guided Amanda Fazio to First Team recognition, and then followed that up by mentoring freshman Raeanne Geffert to Second Team status as a rookie in 2017.
In all, four players have combined for five All-Patriot League awards during Foster's short time at Bucknell. Additionally, four players have been voted to the Academic All-Patriot League Team. Two of those players -- Amanda Fazio and Celina Antonellis -- earned CoSIDA Academic All-District citations, while Fazio was also named the 2016 Patriot League Softball Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
In her first season at Bucknell, Foster coached the Bison to their fourth consecutive appearance in the Patriot League Tournament and a 27-23 overall record. Despite losing the team's top two pitchers, she then guided the team to its third straight winning season with a 23-20 record.
Foster arrived to Lewisburg after a five-year stint as an assistant coach at Northwestern, where she was also an outstanding pitcher during her playing career from 2003-06.
Northwestern was a model of consistency during Foster's five years with the program, qualifying for the NCAA Regional Tournament three times and never finishing below .500 despite going against some of the top competition in the country. The Wildcats finished 28-23 last season and received an at-large berth to the NCAA Regional due in large part to having the second-toughest non-conference schedule in the nation. They also made NCAA Tournament appearances in 2012 and 2014.
Foster played a key role in the development of two of the Big Ten's top pitchers over the past five seasons. Kristen Wood led the conference in strikeouts and ranked in the top 20 nationally in strikeouts per seven innings in 2014, while Amy Letourneau did the same in 2013. Foster's role at Northwestern wasn't limited to pitching instruction, as she also spent time on the recruiting trail. She helped the Wildcats tie a school record with five All-Region selections in 2015, just one year after the team had six honorees in 2014.
A communication studies major, Foster earned her bachelor's degree from Northwestern in 2006. She was one of the best pitchers in school history, compiling an 80-37 record with a 1.49 ERA and 1,014 strikeouts during an impressive career that was highlighted by an All-America selection in 2005. She finished her collegiate career on a high note, leading the Wildcats to the College World Series, where she struck out 13 batters in 4.2 innings of relief to earn the win against Alabama in the opening round. She wrapped up her career as a three-time All-Big Ten and Academic All-Big Ten selection and added two NFCA All-Mideast Region honors.
Following her playing career, Foster was drafted by the Philadelphia Force of National Professional Fastpitch in 2006. She instead went on to work one year at Northwestern as a volunteer assistant before playing semi-professional softball in Italy in 2009.