Western Kentucky Softball Camps
Tyra Perry recently finished her fifth season as the head coach of the Western Kentucky University softball team after starting on the Hill in the 2008 season. Perry has compiled a record of 153-128-1 with the Lady Toppers while she has 299 wins as a collegiate head coach.
Under Perry's helm, WKU has won over 25 games each season, including three seasons with 30 or more victories and three seasons with trips to the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. With those numbers, the softball program has had nine 30-win seasons and 12 SBC Tournament appearances in its history.
In five seasons, Perry has placed 16 athletes on the Sun Belt Commissioner's List, 28 on the Sun Belt Academic Honor Roll, nine All-SBC selections, nine SBC Player of the Week honors, five SBC Pitcher of the Week honors, five SBC All-Tournament Team members and five CoSIDA Academic All-District selections.
The Lady Toppers finished the 2012 campaign with a record of 33-25-1 overall and 11-12-1 mark in the league schedule, good for a fifth-place finish in the SBC. WKU earned a five seed in the SBC Tournament in Boca Raton, Fla., winning two of the four games it played, as the season came to a close in an extra-inning game in the semifinals against two-seed South Alabama.
The 2012 squad put together some of the best statistical number in program history, as the team tops the list with most runs (264), triples (15), RBI (227), total bases (666), slugging percentage (.429), hit by pitches (79) and on-base percentage (.353) in a single season.
At the conclusion of the season, four Lady Toppers had earned postseason or weekly awards in Preslie Cruce (SBC All-Tournament, All-SBC Second Team), Karavin Dew (All-SBC First Team), Kelsie Mattox (All-SBC Second Team, SBC Player of the Week) and Amanda Thomas (two-time SBC Player of the Week).
Perry led the 2011 team to a record of 30-29 overall and 9-15 in the SBC for seventh place. The 2011 Lady Toppers finished with a .279 batting average the highest in program history. The team tied what was then the all-time single season record in triples (14) and RBI (221). The 2011 team had a season highlight as it defeated then sixth-ranked Michigan 3-2 in the Louisville Tournament, handing the Wolverines their first loss of the season.
The 2011 team saw honors handed to Mallorie Sulaski (Preseason All-SBC), Ciara Garcia (CoSIDA Academic All-District IV Second Team), Dew (All-SBC First Team), Mattox (SBC Player of the Week) and Thomas (SBC All-Tournament Team).
Perry led the 2010 team to a 27-25 overall record with 10 home victories at the WKU Softball Complex. In 2010, the Lady Toppers went on a nine-game winning streak from March 13-24, tying the longest winning streak in Lady Topper softball history, which last happened during the 2007 season.
In Perry's third season, two Lady Toppers were named to the 2010 All-SBC Second Team, as senior Lindsay Antone and Sulaski earned the honor. Antone was also named SBC Player of the Week along with Sulaski earning the award for Player of the Week and Pitcher of the Week.
Perry's 2010 squad bid farewell to seven seniors who were a strong influence to the team on and off the field. Academically Shannon Smith was named to the CoSIDA/ ESPN the Magazine All-Academic First Team and WKU Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She also earned the prestigious Ogden Foundation Scholar Award, WKU's top academic honor.
Perry was named the 2009 SBC Co-Coach of the Year, after leading the 2009 Lady Toppers to a 35-19 record and finishing the season with a .648 winning percentage, the best in school history. To end the season, the Lady Toppers finished the SBC Tournament with a 3-2 record after recording wins over Florida Atlantic, Troy and South Alabama.
In 2008, Perry guided the Lady Toppers to a 28-30 season record while leading WKU to five wins against teams ranked in the top 25. In addition, the Lady Toppers finished the season on a high note with wins against Middle Tennessee and FIU in the SBC Tournament.
The WKU softball record books also saw quite a shuffle in 2008 with athletes breaking several season and career records. At the conclusion of the season, Perry's athletes picked up a number of elite honors, led by Rebecca Horesky who was named to the All-SBC First Team. The Lady Toppers also placed two athletes on the SBC All-Tournament Team with Terri Ellingsworth and Rachelle Boucher picking up the honor.
Perry has always stressed the importance of personal development and community service. The team hosts a clinic for teams involved in the Special Olympics Kentucky softball tournament, a Breast Cancer Awareness day and a Big Brothers-Big Sisters day. The team has also been involved with Habitat for Humanity and other community engagements.
Perry, who came to WKU after leading Birmingham-Southern for six years, led the Panthers to their first-ever winning season, a 28-21 record. Perry recorded 146 wins overall at Birmingham-Southern, including winning at least 25 contests in each of the last five years. Additionally, she posed a 36-39 mark against Big South opponents (the school was not eligible for the league title in 2003 as a provisional NCAA Division I member.)
In all, Perry had 15 players earn postseason honors from the Big South Conference with a high of five following both the 2005 and 2006 campaigns.
Perry was inducted into the 2007 Zachary High School Hall of Fame in her hometown of Zachary, Louisiana. In 2006, Perry added the title of Assistant Athletic Director/Senior Women's Administrator to her duties and served as BSC's compliance director. Perry was the head coach for the Southeastern All-Star team that played the United States Olympic squad prior to the 2004 games in Athens.
Perry is a 1997 and 1998 graduate of Louisiana State University, earning her degree in kinesiology in 1997 and adding a master's degree in sports administration in 1998. In addition, she completed a compliance internship at LSU from 1998-2000 before becoming a head coach.
Perry lettered for the Tigers for two years, in 1997 and 1998, helping the school to a combined 102-28 (78.5%) record, a 58-14 (80.6%) mark in the Southeastern Conference play, two SEC Western Division titles and the school's first-ever NCAA Regional Tournament appearance where the Tigers finished second.
She was a second-team National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-South Region selection her first season, adding first-team All-Louisiana honors as well as a place on the league's all-tournament team, after leading LSU with a .345 batting average, 11 home runs, 40 runs scored, a .416 on-base percentage and a .612 slugging percentage. Off the field, Perry was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll twice.