Utah returns four of its top six hitters from last season as it looks to make the program’s fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in five years.
Senior Hailey Hilburn was selected to the NFCA All-Pacific Region Team last season. She had the best offensive season of her career hitting .311 and started at six different positions: first base, third base, left field, right field, pitcher and designated player. Hilburn was third on the team in doubles (8), home runs (3), runs batted in (23), slugging percentage (.470) and walks (11). She also paced the squad in stolen bases (5). In the circle, Hilburn made eight starts and picked up five wins with a career-high 42 strikeouts.
Outfielder Julia Noskin was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team. Noskin hit .310 and led the team in runs (31), walks (15) and on-base percentage (.395). The Calabasas, Calif., native moved into the leadoff spot for the final 27 games of the season and hit .473.
A pair of juniors who have played prominent roles also return. Outfielder Alyssa Barrera had the team’s second-best batting average (.322) and on-base percentage (.392), and ranked third in runs scored (27) last season. Utility player BreOnna Castaneda ranked third in batting average (.314) and top three in both doubles (8) and home runs (4).
To other players with significant starting experience return in senior outfielder Ally Dickman and sophomore shortstop Abby Robertson.
In the summer of 2018, Hannah Flippen led the USA Blue team to a third-place finish at the International Cup. Anissa Urtez was the top hitter for the Mexican National Team in that same tournament. Flippen earned a spot on the U.S. National Team for the Japan Cup in early November.
Four Utes traveled the globe and represented their countries in International play in the summer of 2017.
Hannah Flippen played for Team USA in the World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City, the Pan Am/World Qualifier in the Dominican Republic, and the Japan Cup. Anissa Urtez and Alyssa Barrera were also in Oklahoma City for the World Cup as starters on the Mexican National Team. Aubrey Peterson was a starter for Great Britain at the 2017 Women's Softball European Championship.
Amy Hogue is in her 19th season with the Utah softball program as a head coach, assistant coach and player. She has led the Utes to three NCAA Tournaments, including back-to-back Super Regional appearances in 2016 and '17.
In 11 seasons as the Utes' head coach, Hogue has a 317-275-1 record at Utah and sports a 514-360-1 overall record in 17 years as a collegiate head coach, which includes six seasons at the NJCAA level’s Salt Lake Community College.
Hogue got her start in coaching as Utah's graduate assistant coach from 1994-95. As a player from 1991-94, she helped the Utes win two conference titles and make two College World Series appearances. She captained the 1994 squad that tallied a school-record 51 wins, earning Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year, first team all-region and second team All-America honors along the way. She was a three-time All-WAC honoree.
Among Utah's career leaders, Hogue still ranks third in at bats (703) and stolen bases (72), fourth in hits (239), and fifth in hitting (.340) and runs (125).
Hogue graduated from Utah in 1994 with a sociology degree and earned a Master's in social work in 1996. The Sandy, Utah, native has three children, Brennan, Kai and Tessa.
Cody Thompson is in his 12th season as a full-time assistant with the Utes and has been part of the staff since 2005, when he served as a volunteer assistant coach.
Thompson works with the pitching staff, including recent All-Pac-12 selections Miranda Viramontes and Katie Donovan.
A former USA Softball Men's National Team pitcher, Thompson played for the national team from 2004-09. He was named Best Pitcher at the NAFA World Series in 2006. He was a four-time ASA All-American..
Thompson is married to the former Amanda Tuft and has four children: Mikaela, Chase, Cayden and Quinley.
Hannah Flippen, Utah’s all-time leader in runs, hits and batting average, is in her first season as a full-time assistant coach. Flippen was a graduate assistant coach in 2018.
Flippen is Utah’s first three-time All-American, first two-time Academic All-American, and first four-time All-Pac-12 honoree. She was the first Ute to be named Pac-12 Softball Player of the Year in consecutive seasons, and the first person in the history of the conference to win that award as well as Defensive Player of the Year honors in the same campaign.
Flippen plays professionally for the ScrapYard Dawgs and led them to a National Pro Fastpitch title. Internationally, she played for the USA Elite Team in 2016 and the USA National Team in 2017 and '18.
Russ Paskins is in his 12th season with the Utes as a volunteer assistant.
He was an assistant coach at Alta High School 2006-09 and enjoyed a 24-year playing career on the fastpitch circuit. His teams advanced to 12 Men's Majors Fastpitch Nationals. He was selected to the All-World Team at NAFA Masters twice and won three league batting titles.
Paskins and his wife Mindi have three daughters: Desirae, Samantha and Whitney.