Augustana Softball Camps
Kelsey Thompson | Assistant Coach
A former Augustana assistant coach, Kelsey Thompson returned home to the Vikings in 2019 and helped lead the Vikings to the programs second-ever DII National Championship. Following an NSIC Tournament title in May of 2019, coach Thompson and staff led the Vikings to a 10-2 record in the NCAA postseason. Augustana knocked off No. 2 Winona State in regionals and No. 1 Central Oklahoma in super regionals, both on the road, to reach the program's fifth NCAA Division II Softball Championship.
Thompson, who worked largely with the pitching and catching staff, helped a trio of Viking pitchers become one of the best staffs in the nation. Augustana pitchers ended the season finishing in the top-10 in numerous single-season categories including total wins (61), innings pitching (464.0), strikeouts (417), and opponent batting average (.197). Nationally, the Vikings ranked first in the country in innings pitched (464.0) and 14th in ERA (1.83).
As a result of the historic season, coach Kelsey Thompson, along with head coach Gretta Melsted and Nat Wagner, were named the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Central Region and DII National Staff of the Year. It's the first national honor in the career for all three coaches.
Before joining the Viking staff, Thompson was head coach at the University of Sioux Falls. A native of Blue Earth, Minnesota, Thompson directed the USF program since 2013, compiling a 172-134 record (.562) in six seasons with USF. She led USF to a 91-79 (.535) in the NSIC. USF had a 6-10 record in NSIC tournament play, including 1-2 in 2018, while Thompson led the program.
Thompson took over the Cougar program in 2013, and immediately posted three consecutive winning seasons, improving her overall record each season and earning a spot in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference tournament each season. With a banner year in 2016, Thompson led the Cougars to a program record 34 wins as part of a 34-20 season, which included a 17-11 mark in the NSIC season. As the No. 7 seed, Thompson led the Cougars back to the NSIC Tournament for the third consecutive season, where they would finish 1-2 to conclude their record-setting campaign. A standout catcher in her playing career, Thompson groomed catcher Shannon Daly to a slew of USF records and the first All-America honor for a USF Softball player since they joined NCAA Division II in 2012.
In 2015, Thompson guided USF to a 29-win regular season and 15-15 mark in the NSIC, earning a second consecutive bid to the postseason. In the NSIC Tournament, Thompson led USF to three wins, recording the program’s first postseason victory as NCAA Division II members. The Cougars finished with a 32-23 overall record, improving on her first season’s mark. Individually, Thompson guided four players to All-NSIC honors and junior utility player Danielle Walker to the NSIC Newcomer of the Year appointment.
During thr 2014 campiagn, Thompson guided the Cougars to a 30-17 overall record and an 18-11 mark in the NSIC, which placed them fifth in the final league standings and the No. 5 seed in the NSIC Tournament. In her first season, Thompson guided USF second baseman Erin Scott to the NSIC batting title when she posted a .500 batting average to garner USF’s first All-NSIC first team honors as members of the conference.
Prior to her appointment as the head coach for the University of Sioux Falls, Thompson spent three years as a member of the staff at Augustana. In her second year as an assistant at Augustana, she helped the Vikings earn a trip to the NCAA Division II Women’s College World Series. In her three seasons at Augustana, she assisted the Vikings to three consecutive NCAA postseason berths and a regular season conference title.
Thompson starred collegiately for two seasons at Minnesota State, Mankato. As a senior, the former catcher was named the 2010 NSIC Player of the Year. She also racked up All-NSIC first team, Daktronics All-America second team, Louisville Slugger/American Fastpitch Coaches Association All-America second team, Daktronics Central Region Player of the Year, Daktronics All-Central Region and Louisville Slugger NFCA All-Central Region first team honors. Thompson hit .431 with 11 home runs as a senior and tied the program’s single season home run record (13) as a junior. Thompson transferred to MSU after playing a pair of seasons at St. Cloud State University, where she was named a 2006 & 2007 NFCA Academic All-American. She had a stellar prep career at Blue Earth Area High School, where she was a four-year starter in softball in addition to a two-year letterwinner in both basketball and volleyball. A three-time all-state selection, Thompson was named to the 2005 Team Minnesota and the 2005 All-Area Player of the Year. Among her other activities, Thompson previously served as an assistant coach with the Mankato Pepper (2009-10) and Minnesota Blizzard (2007-08) U-18 squads. She graduated from Minnesota State in 2010 with a degree in exercise science with a sports medicine minor and holds a master’s degree in sports administration and leadership from Augustana University.
Abby Chandler | Graduate Assistant
Bio coming soon.