Natalia Ardagna enters her tenth season with the Beacons in 2017, and has set a new standard for winning since taking over as head coach.
Building the program from the ground up, Ardagna has made UMass Boston a consistent winner and participant in the Little East Conference tournament. Ardagna became the first coach in program history to earn 100 career victories in 2014 and comes into the year with 135 victories in Beacons Blue.
The Beacons are coming off one of their best seasons in program history. In 2016, Ardagna led a youthful Beacons side to their second-best record in program history at 22-19. UMass Boston qualified for the Little East Conference Tournament for the for the first time in three years and made a stunning run to the LEC Championship Series. After recording just one win in their first 10 LEC Tournament games, the Beacons went 3-2 in this year's LEC Tournament.
UMass Boston suffered a stunning 6-5 comeback loss to rival UMass Dartmouth in the first round of the LEC Tournament, before knocking off defending champion Eastern Connecticut State University (3-1), UMass Dartmouth (5-1) and regular season champion Keene State College (1-0) in three-straight elimination games.
In 2015, the Beacons dealt with a slew of injuries and an extremely young team, but still nearly claimed a playoff spot. The Beacons earned a sweep of UMass Dartmouth on Senior Day to almost capture their first playoff spot since 2013.
The 2014 season saw the Beacons compete for a playoff spot until the final day of the regular season despite fielding one of the youngest rosters in New England. UMass Boston proved to be competitive in almost every game, and the year saw the team earn their first-ever win over a nationally-ranked team-when they defeated #25 Wheaton College 7-5 on April 1.
In 2013, Ardagna recorded her 100th career victory as a head coach and helped guide the Beacons to their third-consecutive Little East Conference Tournament appearance. The Beacons posted a new program-record for players on the All-Conference team, as five position players were honored, including First Teamer Sue Killilea.
UMass Boston finished the 2012 season with their second consecutive postseason berth despite having to replace two-thirds of the team’s pitching staff.
In 2011, she proved that the Beacons continued success was no fluke as she set a new-single season record with 24 wins. It was also in that season, that she led UMass to their first Little East Conference tournament appearance and first postseason win.
The 2010 season truly marked a new chapter in the program’s history as Ardagna’s Beacons set new school records in almost every offensive category including, runs, hits, batting average, total bases, RBI, and slugging percentage. She also coached the conference Rookie of the Year in Killilea, who to-date stands as the only three-time NFCA All-Region honoree (2011 & 2012) in school history.
Wasting no time after arriving on the Harbor Campus, Ardagna’s first team set a school record for hits, as well as setting a new mark for league wins which she has continued to surpass every season she is in the dugout.
Her credentials as a Head Coach are outstanding. Prior to her arrival at UMass Boston, the former catcher spent the three seasons on the Simmons College Softball coaching staff, where she helped the Sharks to three straight playoff appearances, including her final season as the team's Head Coach, which yielded the most victories in school history with 19.
Prior to her coaching career, Ardagna was an outstanding four-year player at Bridgewater State University (MA), where she helped the Bears put together an impressive 104-64-2 record for a 61.8% winning mark, including four straight Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference (MASCAC) titles and three trips to the NCAA Regionals.
While at Bridgewater State, Ardagna earned multiple MASCAC Player of the Week accolades and was named Second Team All-Conference after leading the MASCAC in batting average and runs batted in during her senior season. A native of Revere, she graduated from Bridgewater State in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and a minor in sociology.