MANALAPAN-Just one year into her new program in New Jersey, Team USA Softball Hall of Famer Crystl Bustos and her Ruthless Softball program have named Georgian Court University Head Coach Nicole Degenhardt as head coach of the program’s 18u fastpitch travel softball team.
Degenhardt is coming off a 46-11 season, leading her Georgian Court Lions to the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (D2) title, earning a berth to the Division II NCAA Eastern Regional Tournament.
In 2018 Degenhardt was named CACC Coach of the Year after leading the Lions to a 30-23 season.
Nicole, a former three-sport athlete at then-Felician College, earned All-CACC honors in softball and volleyball before graduating in 2011 with a degree in Mathematics Education/Special Education. She earned induction into the school’s Athletic Hall-of-Fame in 2017.
Upon graduation, the Secaucus, New Jersey native taught high school and middle school mathematics in Wood-Ridge, New Jersey before accepting the position of Associate Athletic Director/Recruiting Coordinator at NCAA Division III College of Saint Elizabeth.
Degenhardt led the College of Saint Elizabeth softball team from 2012-15. The former North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Coach of the Year also served as the floor general of the Saint Elizabeth women’s basketball team (2011-15).
Degenhardt compliments Ruthless New Jersey’s already stacked roster of collegiate level coaches including Tricia Popowski (USC Softball Hall of Famer), Laura Borrelli (Monmouth University), Danielle Gabrielle (Manhattan University) and a team of college coaches and trainers.
Ruthless softball trains in Jackson and Manalapan Township and in partnership with Adventure Sports Entertainment is building a state of the art sports complex that will include a sports dome, indoor training facility and multi-purpose turf sports fields. This year, Ruthless Softball New Jersey will use Manalapan’s Sportika facility as their winter training facility before ASE Jackson is expected to be completed in the spring of 2020. Practice fields for the program are located in Jackson and Manalapan.
“At Ruthless, we’re looking for players and parents who are 100% committed and dedicated at our tryouts,” Crystl Bustos said as New Jersey Ruthless heads into its second year. “We’re seeking players who understand the commitment it takes to be an elite athlete.”
The program will be expanding for the 2019-20 season to include a 10u and 18u team to join their existing 12u, 14u and 16u teams.
Aside from college coaches and top-shelf professional training opportunities, Ruthless Softball teams host former professional and college level camps for their teams. During the 2018-19 season, Ruthless New Jersey players were trained extensively by former Team USA Olympic gold medalists, professions players, NCAA coaches and star collegiate softball players including:
Crystl Bustos – Two-time Olympic gold medalist, Olympic HR leader, National Pro Fastpitch (NPF)
Amanda Kamekona – UCLA, NPF
Leah Amico – Three-time Olympic gold medalist, 3-time NCAA champion at Arizona
Monica Abbott – 2020 Olympian, 2008 silver medalist, professional softball player
Jenny Topping – 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist, NPF
Jamie Wolhbach – Head Coach – East Stroudsberg University
Alex Powers – USSSA Pride NPF, Florida State
Bob Andrews – Team USA Olympian, track & field, University of Virginia
Jenn Shellhammer – Professional softball player, pitching instructor
Terry DeTuro – Virginia Cavaliers Head Coach 1987-1992
Andrea Duran – 2008 Olympian, UCLA, NPF
Kristyn Sandberg – All NPF catcher, University of Georgia
Toni Mascarenas – University of Arizona, NCAA Home run leader, National Champion
Tina Whitlock – Team USA, USC Assistant Coach, Pitching Coach Team UK Softball
The program is hosting tryouts for their local New Jersey 10u through 18u teams this month.
10u/12u tryouts Tuesday, July 23rd at 5pm check in at Manalapab Rec Center – Field 3 – 93 Freehold Road, Manalapan. Rain location: Sportika, 150 Woodward Rd., Manalapan.
14u tryouts Saturday, July 27th at 8:00 am check in at Sportika, 150 Woodward Rd., Manalapan Private workouts available on July 28th.
16u/18 tryouts Tuesday, July 16th at 5pm checkin at Sportika, 150 Woodward Rd., Manalapan. Alternate date July 27th at 11am at Sportika.
To tryout for any team, please Sign up for 2019 Ruthless Softball Tryouts.