North Adams, MA- The MCLA Athletics department has announced the interim hiring of Ashley Ciepiela and Amanda Meczywor as co-head coaches of the Trailblazer Softball program. The pair previously were hired as assistant coaches this offseason. Ciepiela and Meczywor will replace Erica Li, who took another position last month.
Both coaches are no strangers to MCLA Athletics. Ciepiela served as an assistant coach at nearby Southern Vermont College last season while Meczywor was an all conference standout and a member of the 2015 MASCAC Championship team at MCLA. The pair will inherit a program that is seeking a return to the MASCAC postseason in 2019.
The Trailblazer softball season gets underway in March with their annual trip to the sunshine state in Clermont, FL. MCLA will open with ten games down south before returning home for their Northern slate of contests.
Prior to her one year coaching stint at SVC, Ciepiela was a four-year member of Becker College's softball program. Ciepiela was a starting first baseman for the Hawks where she was named to the ALL-NECC Second Team in 2017, the same year in which she was a captain for the program. Ciepiela was selected for the Hawk's Coaches Award in both 2015 and 2016 while helping Becker win it's first NECC Conference Softball Championship.
For the last four years, she has been a softball coach for a Nike Softball Camp in Amherst, MA. This past summer she was named Assistant Director, with the task of assisting in running the program, staffing the other coaches, and creating the field schedule for the camp.
Meczywor was a captain and helped lead MCLA to a conference championship during her senior season in a Trailblazer uniform in 2015. MCLA took home the conference crown and advanced into the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1995. Meczywor was an All MASCAC standout during her career as both a utility player and pitcher for the Trailblazers.
Meczywor has worked in the local youth programs since graduating and has been a pitching coach as well.
She also works full time in the MCLA advancement office.