18U Heartbreakers Gold National (Md.) was voted by its peers as the 2022-23 ATEC/NFCA Travel Ball National Coaching Staff of the Year, the Association announced on Tuesday afternoon. Under the direction of head coaching duo Wayne Persinger and Earl Edwards, the Heartbreakers won the 2023 USA Softball Gold National Championship.
En route to the 2023 national title, the Heartbreakers posted a perfect 8-0 mark in Oklahoma City, outscoring their opposition 60-15. Along with Persinger and Edwards, assistant coaches PJ Donaghue and Michaela Persinger were pivotal in the squad registering an 83-1-1 record, which was highlighted by a 42-game winning streak. They guided a pitching staff that posted a 1.68 ERA and struck out 378 batters, while the offense recorded 118 doubles and 59 home runs in the 56 contests during the summer. Additionally, the Heartbreakers collected numerous tournament titles and also went undefeated during tournament bracket play.
18U Heartbreakers National (Region II), along with South Shore Patriots (Region I), 18U Virginia Glory National Willemssen (Region III), Platinum Elite 2K12 (Region IV), EC Bullets Midwest 2010 Amt (Region V), 16U Texas Glory (Naudin) (Region VI), Louisville Lady Sluggers 16U – VB (Region VII), EC Coyotes (Hitstreak, Hawks) (Region VIII), Mojo Pikas 18U (Region IX) and Charge Fastpitch (Region X) represent the 10 travel ball regions, respectively.
Persinger, Edwards, Donaghue and Persinger will be recognized at the NFCA Awards Brunch on Dec. 9 at the 2023 NFCA Convention in Louisville.