FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 2011
Ali Higgs named to Iona College 2011 Hall of Fame class
JU softball coach Ali Higgs will add another line to her resume after being named as an inductee for the Iona College Hall of Fame 2011 class that will be enshrined this summer.

Higgs, a four-year letterwinner at Iona from 2002-05 as a pitcher, finished her career with the Gaels ranked in the top 10 in every offensive category and in the top five of every pitching category.

In the circle, Higgs holds the program record for appearances (96), victories (51), ERA (1.34), strikeouts (512) and shutouts (13). She is the all-time leader in at-bats (522) and hits (164, tied), while ranking second in home runs with 17. Higgs was also a two-time Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Northeast Region first team selection and earned 2004 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference "Player of the Year" accolades.

After her outstanding collegiate career, she played two seasons in the National Professional Fast Pitch League for the New York Juggernaut and Philadelphia Force. Higgs also played in Australia before joining the Dolphins coaching staff.

“To be included in this elite Iona group is very humbling and such an honor for me,” said Higgs. “I am grateful to my parents and family, along with all of the great coaches and teammates I had the opportunity to play for and with. All of my success can be attributed to the investment each one made in my life and to their continuous support.”

“This is a tremendous honor for Ali,” said JU head coach Amanda Lehotak. “We are proud of her because her success as a player has helped her become an even better coach. We look forward to cheering her on a she gets inducted into Iona’s Hall of Fame.”

Higgs has worked as Lehotak’s top assistant since 2007, mainly coaching the pitchers, catchers and outfielders.

The Dolphins pitching staff had improved each season under her tutelage, including a program record in 2010. The staff produced a new single-season record in ERA (2.11) and finishing second on the program list with 329 strikeouts.

Senior Ashley Iveson led the pitching staff with a career best 16 wins and 184 strikeouts in 157.2 innings to receive second team all-conference honors. She set single-season records in wins, double-digit strikeout games (6) and strikeouts per contest (8.17). Iveson also finished her four-year career as the all-time leader in strikeouts per game with a 6.04 average.

This season, Higgs has helped junior Sarah Sigrest bounce back from a sluggish 2010 campaign and into the dominate ace of the staff. Sigrest currently leads the team in ERA (0.97) and strikeouts (70), while also tossing consecutive shutouts in her last two starts. She was named A-Sun “Pitcher of the Week” on Monday after recording three wins at the USF Under Armour Invitational in Clearwater, Fla.

Higgs graduated cum laude from Iona in 2005 with a bachelor's degree in business administration and obtained her master's of business administration from Jacksonville University in May 2009. In the fall, she will begin to purse a master’s in education-leadership and learning with a concentration in sports administration from JU.