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SACRAMENTO -- After helping the Sacramento State softball program to a Big Sky Conference championship and NCAA Tournament appearance in the spring, it was announced today that Vicky Rios has been elevated from assistant coach to associate head coach.

Rios completed her first season at Sacramento State in 2018, and was part of a coaching staff that guided the Hornets to their first-ever Big Sky Conference title, and first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2008. The team finished with a 31-20 overall record and a 14-7 mark in league, and the NCAA Tournament berth was the program's fourth since joining the Div. I ranks in 1990. Sacramento State had three winning streaks of at least five games long, and went undefeated in the conference tournament to claim the Big Sky's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.

Rios, who has 18 years of collegiate coaching experience and over 21 years as a professional softball instructor, was heavily involved with coaching the Hornet hitters and infield defense, as well as recruiting, scouting and game planning. The Sacramento native helped coach seven Hornets who were named all-conference in 2018, including Big Sky MVP Suzy Brookshire.

As a team, Sacramento State hit .280, which was the second best mark in the Big Sky. The Hornets also ranked among the league's top three teams in slugging percentage, on-base percentage, runs, hits, doubles, home runs, RBIs and total bases. Sacramento State hitters struck out just once every 6.3 at-bats, easily the top mark in the conference.

"Coach Rios has done an excellent job with our players and our program," Sacramento State head coach Lori Perez said. "She is a veteran in our sport, and this title is a natural fit for her and what she brings to our program."

Collegiately, Rios had assistant coaching stops at UC Davis (2011-14), Sacramento City College (2009-11) and Riverside City College (2008-09). She also spent five years as the associate head coach at UC Riverside (2003-08), and spent two years as an assistant at Cosumnes River College (2001-03) and San Jose State (1999-01). Rios began her extensive coaching carer as head coach at Santa Clara from 1997-99. She has been a professional softball instructor/clinician since 1995.

Rios played collegiately at Cal State Northridge where she was an all-conference selection, and at Sacramento City College where she was an all-state selection.