Amber Maurer Becomes Pitt-Johnstown’s First-Ever Softball Recruit;
Pitt-Johnstown Adds Three Sports Entering PSAC
07/02/13...Local standout and Greater Johnstown High School graduate Amber Maurer has chosen to bring her talents to Pitt-Johnstown to help Head Coach Sabrina Lane kick-start women's softball as an NCAA Division II sport in 2013-14. Pitt-Johnstown will also add the varsity sports of men's indoor and outdoor track and field and men's cross country as the athletic department becomes full members of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC).
In 2012-13, Pitt-Johnstown offered 11 varsity sports, six for women (basketball, cross country, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, soccer, volleyball) and five for men (baseball, basketball, golf, soccer, wrestling). With the start of the 2013-14 academic year, the University will support 15 athletic teams competing at the NCAA Division II level.
Lane, a former head coach at Saint Francis University and Saginaw Valley State (MI) University, will guide Pitt-Johnstown's first-ever women's softball team. The Lady Cats are expected to have a limited fall and spring varsity schedule consisting of the NCAA-required minimum of 24 games (12 doubleheaders) in 2013-14. The PSAC requires a school that sponsors a sport play it in the league, but allow a one-year delay before full participation to let the new program to be established. In 2015, Pitt-Johnstown will participate in a full PSAC schedule.
Lane was named head coach in the summer of 2013, prior to the Lady Cats' first season as a varsity sport.
From 2006 through 2011, Lane, who began her college coaching career as a graduate assistant at Edinboro University, was the head softball coach at Saint Francis where she guided The Red Flash to the Northeast Conference Tournament (NEC) and was named the NEC Coach of the year in 2008.
Following the 2008 season, Lane spent the summer in Allentown coaching professional softball with the Philadelphia Force. As an assistant coach with the Force, Lane had the opportunity to coach some of the top softball players in the country. After helping lead the team to a 31-17 season, she returned to Saint Francis to coach for three more years.
Lane also spent three seasons at the helm of the Saginaw Valley State program where she led the team to three consecutive Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament berths.
Most recently, she was the Director of Softball for ERA where she expanded the softball program offerings in Johnstown and Altoona. Lane founded ERA's first softball team, the Flood City Elite, made up of three age groups.
Lane, a former standout at Gannon University, also served as an assistant coach for the Danish National Team.
In 2001, she graduated from Gannon with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology, before earning her Masters of Arts in Communication Studies at Edinboro University in 2003.
Lane and her husband Bill Graham, the head softball coach at Indiana University (PA) have two daughters, Kaija and Aria. The family resides in Ebensburg, Pa.
Maurer, a four-year letter-winner in softball and two-year letter-winner in basketball at Greater Johnstown High School, batted .415 with 84 hits, including 22 doubles, three triples and a grand slam in her four-year career. She finished with a .554 slugging percentage and a .500 on-base percentage. In 2013, Maurer was an All-Laurel Highlands Conference selection.
In the classroom, Maurer was on the honor roll four straight years and graduated in the top-ten of her class. She was also a member of the National Honor Society and the National Spanish Honor Society. She plans to major in nursing at Pitt-Johnstown.
Carl Keifer and Ernie William, who are currently the co-women's track and field coaches, will also share the duties of coaching the men in 2013-14. To qualify as an NCAA sport, indoor track and field must compete in four contests with a minimum of 10 participants, while outdoor track requires competition in four contests with at least 14 participants.
In addition, men's and women's cross country will be coached by Shane Valko. To meet the minimum NCAA requirements for cross country, a program must compete in five contests, with five participants.