July 5, 2013
“The most fitting word that comes to mind regarding Chelsea is impressive,” Aprile said. “She has extensive knowledge of the game, particularly as it pertains to pitching. She is highly motivated to get our program to the highest level, and most importantly she is an outstanding person that will be an excellent role model for our student-athletes.”
Leonard comes to Pitt after a highly successful collegiate career at the University of Louisville. After two injury shortened seasons in 2010 and 2011, Leonard was able to perform at an elite level in the 2012 season, helping to guide the Cardinals to the Big East Tournament title and an NCAA Tournament berth. She recorded an 11-2 overall record and led the NCAA with 12 saves, which stands at third place on the all-time college softball record list.
Earning wins and/or saves against competition from the Big Ten (Michigan), SEC (Kentucky), ACC (Virginia), and former Big East (Notre Dame, South Florida), Leonard led the Cardinals pitching staff in 2012 with 1.30 ERA and owns the Louisville record for most strikeouts in a game with 16 (accomplished twice). She surrendered zero home runs in 2012 and opponents batted a mere .194 against her.
Leonard’s high quality performances extended into the classroom, as she was named an Academic All-American in 2009 and 2012, along with being an NFCA Scholar Athlete in 2012. She was named to the Big East All-Academic Team in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
During the 2013 season, Leonard served as a volunteer assistant coach with the Bellarmine University softball program, focusing on the pitchers and catchers. She helped guide a staff, which returned only one starter from the 2012 season, to an ERA of 2.62 and a noteworthy 225:60 strikeout to walk ratio. The Knights finished the season with a 28-26 overall record in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. During that time she also acted as a student assistant coach for the Cardinals, assisting in scouting reports and mentoring the pitching staff.
Leonard has worked as a clinician for the University of Louisville Softball Camps and Clinics, as well as a private pitching instructor. Interning for National Pro Fastpitch in 2012, she was able to gain key insights into the world of professional softball.
A 2012 graduate from Louisville, Leonard earned a degree in health and human performance with a concentration in exercise science.
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