FARMINGTON -- During All-Star weekend Farmington head softball coach Randy Osnes was presented with the state's outstanding softball coach award before the start of the All-Star softball games.
Osnes accepted the award at Ferris Field on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas at Conway on June 22 prior to the doubleheader All-Star softball game from Marcus Haddock of McGehee, who serves as president of the Arkansas High School Coaches Association.
FARMINGTON SOFTBALL 2018
Feb. 26^Home^Southside^Won 3-1
March 5^Home^Siloam Springs*^Won 15-0
March 6^Away^Prairie Grove^Won 20-4
March 8^Home^Bentonville West^Lost 11-6 (8 innings)
March 9^Home^Rogers Heritage^Won 4-0
March 12^Away^Rogers^Won 2-1
March 13^Home^Greenwood*^Lost 4-2
March 15^Away^Clarksville*^Won 10-0
March 16^Farmington Invitational^Mena^Won 12-0
March 17^Farmington Invitational^Conway^Won 5-2
March 17^Farmington Invitational^Bentonville West^Lost 16-2
March 30^Home^Russellville*^Won 10-0
March 30^5 p.m.^Away^Gravette^Varsity/JV
April 3^Away^Harrison*^Won 10-0
April 4^Home^Alma*^Won 10-0
April 5^Away^Siloam Springs*^Won 18-0
April 9^Away^Bentonville West^Won 12-4
April 10^Home^Rogers^Lost 3-2
April 16^Away^Greenwood*^Won 14-9 (10 innings)
April 17^Home^Clarksville*^Won 10-0
April 20^Away^Alma*^Won 10-0
April 21^Conway Tournament^Quitman^Won 7-4
April 23^Home^Gravette^Won 8-4
April 24^Away^Russellville*^Won 16-1
April 27^Home^Harrison*^Won 4-3
April 30^5A West Tournament^Maumelle^Won 11-1
May 1^5A West Tournament^Vilonia^Won 10-4
May 4^5A West Tournament^Morrilton^Won 8-0
May 10^State 5A Tournament^Magnolia^Won 5-4
May 11^State 5A Tournament^Paragould^Won 7-0
May 12^State 5A Tournament^De Queen^Won 8-3
May 19^State 5A Finals^Greenbrier^Lost 3-2
"This is one of those awards that is extremely gratifying to get because you know that it is voted on by all the coaches in the state," Osnes said.
Competing in their last season as a member of the 5A West, Osnes guided the Lady Cardinals to a 27-5 in 2018. Farmington placed first in the 6A/5A District 1, won the 5A West Conference tournament championship and reached the Class 5A state championship game finishing as State Runner-Up by the slimmest of margins. Farmington had two runners on base with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but Greenbrier escaped with a 3-2 win on a ground-out to third in the state finals played May 19 at the Benton Sports Complex.
"Even when we were down in the seventh inning, you never felt like you were out of the game," Osnes said, praising the fighting spirit and resilience among the Farmington girls.
Osnes laughs looking back at preseason quotes in certain media which labeled Farmington a very good 4A team. Although the Lady Cardinals revert to 4A status for the next school year, they were a member of the 5A West and competed in that classification which included conference games against 6A opponents such as Greenwood, Russellville and Siloam Springs in a blended district for 2018.
"Some people didn't know we were in 5A, they thought we were a 4A team," Osnes said. "Our girls talked about that at the start of the season. We went out and proved we were a very good 5A school."
Reaching the state finals represented Farmington softball's first title shot since winning the 2011 final as a 4A school. The Lady Cardinals were winless in previous 5A state tournament appearances from 2016-2017. They quickly rectified that in 2018, beating Magnolia, 5-4, with senior Paige Devescery coming on in relief after giving up four unanswered runs at the State 5A softball tournament hosted by Harrison.
Devecsery started and threw a shut out to lead the Lady Cardinals past Paragould, 7-0, in a Friday, May 11, quarterfinal game; and overcame a 3-run first inning to get past De Queen, 8-3, in a state semifinal on May 12.
"Against De Queen both teams had great players. We knew it was going to be an offensive game," Osnes said. "We knew we had to keep them off the board and Paige did a great job of that."
Looking back on Farmington's four seasons as a member of the 5A West, Osnes said a key to a successful state tournament run this year was winning the conference tournament to set up a No. 1 seed going into state.
"I enjoyed being in that conference for four years," Osnes said.
He appreciated "all the nice facilities," and getting to compete with 5A coaches along with the 6A coaches and schools in the blended 6A/5A District 1 the past two years.
"It was a lot of fun to win our side (in the blended 6A/5A District 1), to win the 5A West Conference tournament, then to break through and do what we did in the state tournament," Osnes said.
Osnes literally built Farmington's program from the ground up laboring to haul in bleachers from the former Lady Razorbacks' facility that replaced a previous location of George Cole Field. One of the hardest tasks was putting in the outfield wall. Osnes is quick to point out the part others have played in developing Farmington's softball facilities and the program.
"Every one knows that you don't get this award if you don't have great assistant coaches and great players," Osnes said. "I've been fortunate over the past 22 years to have great assistant coaches and great players."
Osnes appreciates support from his wife, Liz Osnes, community, school, parents, and fans, saying and it takes all of that to have a successful program. In 2017, a scholarship was established, which will be awarded annually to one Lady Cardinal. Osnes won his 500th game in 2017. He now has 538 wins since taking over the program in 1996.Sports on 07/04/2018
Print Headline: Osnes Named Coach Of The Year