The Gazette 2016 Softball Coach of the Year: Astrid McGill, Liberty

Photo - Astrid McGill, Liberty-The Gazette 2016 Softball Coach of the Year.

Astrid McGill, Liberty-The Gazette 2016 Softball Coach of the Year.

Liberty softball coach Astrid McGill is enjoying an extended homecoming.

A 2003 Liberty graduate, McGill just finished her seventh season coaching at her alma mater, where she's also a Physical Education teacher.

"It's kind of a cool feeling to be able to come back home," McGill said, adding that many teachers and coaches she had in school are still at Liberty.

After finishing 9-10 in 2014, her Lancers went 15-6 in 2015 and finished second in the 5A Colorado Springs Metro League. This season, Liberty went 13-9, including 11-1 in league play to win the CSML. The Lancers were one of two area 5A schools to advance to regional play.

Those accomplishments helped her earn The Gazette Softball Coach of the Year honors.

"The girls have done an amazing job of personally stepping up and wanting it," McGill said. "We had a taste of regionals last year, and that really set the bar (for this season)."

McGill started playing fast pitch at 14, after playing t-ball where she was often the only girl on the team. After her time at Liberty, McGill continued her career at Northern Colorado.

The Lancers lose seven seniors, but McGill remains optimistic for next season.

"It's a nice young group with experience in success. They know what it takes to be there," she said.