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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 12:47 p.m., Wednesday, April 19, 2006

UH softball assistant to resume pro career

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

University of Hawai'i assistant softball coach Dana Degen will leave the Rainbow Wahine after this weekend's road games against Fresno State to resume her professional softball career in Italy.

Degen, a former All-America catcher at UH, was hired in January as the Rainbows' battery coach in charge of the pitchers and catchers. Despite losing last year's top two starting pitchers, the Rainbows have produced three perfect games this season.

Before returning to UH, Degen, 28, was the starting catcher for the Sanotint Bollate team of the Italian Softball League.

She re-signed with that team. The league runs through the summer.

UH coach Bob Coolen said volunteer coach John Nakamura will expand his role in Degen's absence. Nakamura retired as a UH part-time coach at the end of last season. UH used that position's salary — $18,000 — and paid it toward a six-month contract for Degen.

Coolen said he hopes Degen will be rejoin the Rainbows next season as a part-time or casual hire.