ROCHESTER, Mich. -- Lauren Cognigni has been named Oakland University head softball coach, announced Director of Athletics Jeff Konya on Monday. Cognigni, a Levittown, Pa. native, spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Pittsburgh.
"Lauren is a rising star in the coaching profession and she came with impeccable credentials and references" Konya said. "She will be a tremendous fit into our athletics culture and we believe she will lead the softball program to new heights."
At Pitt, Cognigni helped guide the Panthers to their first NCAA Tournament bid in program history in 2015, advancing to the regional final after defeating California and Oakland. That same season, Cognigni and the rest of the Pitt coaching staff was named the 2015 NFCA Mid-Atlantic Region Coaching Staff of the year after leading the Panthers to a school record 37 wins.
With a specialty in pitching, Cognigni led pitchers Sarah Dawson and Kayla Harris to Pitt's first two perfect games in program history during her tenure. The Panthers tallied 30-plus wins in back-to-back seasons (2015, `16) and during that time, Cognigni improved the team's staff earned run average from 4.66 to 3.86.
"I would like to thank Jeff Konya and Marshall Foley for their trust and belief in me to lead the Oakland University softball team," Cognigni said. "The vision they have for the program and student-athletes aligns with my philosophies and I knew right away this would be a great place for me to continue my coaching career."
Cognigni has nine years of collegiate coaching experience starting at her alma mater Saint Joseph's from 2008-09. As the first base coach, she helped lead the Hawks to a second-place finish in the A-10 Conference. Cognigni also had coaching stints at Marist College (2009-12) and University of Delaware (2012-14), where she was the lead recruiter for both institutions, before landing at Pitt in 2015.
"Oakland University's competitive academic curriculum, beautiful campus and strong athletics culture all make this a desirable place for student-athletes to continue their academic and athletic careers," Cognigni said. "I look forward to leading the softball program and developing our student-athletes in the classroom, on the field and in the community."
Cognigni was a four-year starter at Saint Joseph's University from 2005-08, closing out her career with a school record 534 strikeouts. As a sophomore, she went on to break the single-season strikeout record with 186. Cognigni threw one of just two perfect games in program history in a 9-0 victory over Lafayette on March 19, 2005.
Cognigni graduated from Saint Joseph's in 2008 with a degree in English.