Head Coach Heather Bruder
Contact information for Coach Bruder
Office phone: 419-358-3378
Heather Bruder returns for her second season as head softball coach of the Bluffton Beavers. In her first season, Bruder led the team to an overall record of 14-17, going 9-6 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference and qualifying for the four-team HCAC tournament. The Beavers hope to build on their successful 2007 campaign with an experienced group of returnees and a strong incoming freshmen class.
Bruder graduated from Alma College in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in psychology and a minor in sociology. She earned her master of arts in sport administration from Central Michigan University in 2001.
During her softball career at Alma College, Bruder was an academic All-American three times while leading her teams to three straight MIAA titles from 1997-1999. As a senior captain, the outfielder was a member of the Alma squad which finished third at the NCAA Division III nationals.
After taking over a struggling program at Northwood University, Bruder turned the program into a national powerhouse in NCAA Division II softball. In 2005 after five straight losing seasons, the Timberwolves finished with a 34-14 overall record and their first ever GLIAC championship. Bruder was named GLIAC Coach of the Year and her team advanced to the finals of the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championship where it fell to Northern Kentucky, the number 1 team in the country. She built on that success in 2006 as the Timberwolves won a school record 37 games and placed six players on All-GLIAC teams, including Lisa Shepard who earned first team All-Region honors during her junior and senior seasons. Northwood put together a 71-29 record during Bruder's final two seasons as head coach.
In addition to her success at Northwood, Bruder has served as an assistant softball coach for USA Athletes International. She organized trips to Belgium, Germany, Aruba and Sydney while directing team developmental clinics for international youth organizations.
Assistant Coach Lisa Shepard
Contact information for Coach Shepard
Office phone: 419-358-3020
|Lisa Shepard returns for her second season as an assistant coach for the Bluffton University softball team. She was instrumental in helping the Beavers post a 2.67 earned run average in 2007.|
Shepard was the ace pitcher for the Timberwolves during her four years at Northwood University under head coach Heather Bruder. During that time, she broke numerous records, including strikeouts in a season, strikeouts in a career, shutouts, single season wins, earned run average and many more.
She was a two-time first team All-GLIAC performer and two-time first team All-Region player for Northwood as well as being a member of the All-GLIAC Academic team for three years and the NFCA All-Region Academic team for two years. Lisa was named to the ASA All-American team in the summer of 2006 and she placed third in that national tournament.
In her four seasons at Northwood, she was named MVP by her teammates three times and Clutch Player of the Year once. Following her senior year at Northwood, Lisa was given the Athlete of the Year Award for her outstanding athletic and academic accomplishments.
She has been instructing other pitchers for almost nine years now at the little league through the university level. Lisa graduated Magna Cum Laude at Northwood and is currently pursuing her MBA degree at Bluffton University.