July 20, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas - Vanessa Soto and Meagan Denny-White were hired in July 20, 2012, as the UT Arlington assistant softball coaches. Soto will be in charge of the Mavs infielders and hitting, while White will take the lead of the pitching staff. Soto and White both bring impressive resumes to the Mavericks softball program and the athletic department.
"We are very excited to have Vanessa Soto joining our staff," UTA head coach Kristie Fox said. "She will bring knowledge, energy and an extreme passion for the game. She knows what it takes to play at the highest level and that knowledge will no doubt offer insight to our players on the direction we are planning to take this program."
Soto will also take a significant role in recruiting. Denny-White will handle community service initiatives.
"I am excited to announce that Meagan Denny-White will be taking the lead in the growth and development of UT Arlington pitchers," Fox said. "She is a great ambassador for our sport and is very respected here in Texas. Her knowledge and positive attitude is exactly what I was looking for when rounding out my staff."
Soto, originally from San Diego, California, played her collegiate softball career in Louisiana. Soto spent her first three seasons with the Tigers of LSU. She was a left-hand hitting first and second baseman and immediately became a starter in Baton Rouge as a freshman. In 2005, she was named to the All-Louisiana second team and led the Tigers, second in the SEC, in doubles with 16.
Soto had continued success her sophomore season as she was named to the NFCA All-South Region first team, All-Louisiana first team, SEC All-Tournament team, and SEC Player-of-the-Week March 6, 2006. She led the SEC in fielding percentage by a second baseman, with only two errors, and finished second in the SEC for doubles and sacrifice flies. Soto left LSU in 2007 tied for fourth with 47 career doubles and fourth with 10 career sacrifice flies. She was also named to the All-Louisiana first team for the second consecutive year.
She then transferred to the University of Louisiana-Lafayette for her senior season and notched a team leading 23 doubles. Her 67 RBIs and nation-leading eight sacrifice flies helped the Ragin' Cajuns advance to their first Women's College World Series (WCWS) in five years.
Soto had a two-RBI double in the opening game of the 2008 WCWS in Oklahoma City to take down No. 1 Florida. The Ragin' Cajuns then fell to Texas A&M and Alabama to end their time in the 2008 WCWS. Soto finished her playing career with yet another naming to the All-Louisiana first team.
"I'm honored to have the opportunity to represent UTA softball," Soto said. "I'm eager to get started and use my knowledge and experience to help our student athletes excel on and off the field. Kristie's passion, focus and `refuse to lose' mentality made her a fierce competitor as a player and are qualities still apparent in her coaching today. Kristie is a born leader who I respect tremendously and I could not be more excited about the opportunity to coach alongside her."
Denny-White, a native of Crowley, Texas, was recruited to pitch for the University of Texas. White finished her 2005 freshman season 8-2 with two one-hit complete games, two no-hitters, and had a remarkable 11 strikeouts per 7 innings pitched. During Denny-White's sophomore season (2006), she recorded a 17-5 record with a fantastic ERA of 1.57 and 16 complete games. White also ranked 18th in the NCAA, with 9.8 strikeouts per 7 innings pitched.
White continued her dominance from the mound in 2007; earning a ninth place ranking in the NCAA with 10.2 strikeouts per 7 innings pitched and held opposing teams to a batting average of just .193. She finished ranked seventh in the Big 12 with an ERA of 1.73, while leading the conference in strikeouts (337) and starts (41). White was named to the 2007 All-Big 12 Conference second team and earned Big-12 Pitcher-of-the-Week May 1, 2007.
In her final season of collegiate softball, White made her mark in the Longhorns' record book. She was named to the 2008 All-Big 12 Conference first team and National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Midwest Region second team. White capped off her career at Texas ranked second all-time in: innings pitched (689.1), wins (69), appearances (138), starts (116), complete games (67), and shutouts (27). She also ranks second all-time in Texas softball history in strikeouts, with 988, trailing the two-time Olympian, Cat Osterman.
White began her professional softball career with the Chicago Bandits in 2012. Prior to that, she was a member of the Pro Fastpitch Xtreme Tour from 2008-2011 where she earned Pitcher-of-the-Year honors in 2009.
"I feel honored and blessed to have the opportunity to have my dream job right here in my home state," Denny-White said. "Not I only that, but UTA is just 20 minutes from my home town. So that means I get to be close to my family which is the most important thing in my life.
"I don't know what I've done to deserve this wonderful opportunity, but I'm going to dedicate myself to helping the UTA program be the best it's ever been. Getting the chance to work with Kristie Fox is the cherry on the cake. I've played with her on the Junior National team and against her in college. She is one of the best players I've ever seen play the game and I'm honored to be on her staff."