#OregonSoftball: Udria-Ragin Returns to Oregon

EUGENE – One of the best players in Ducks history, Nikki Udria-Ragin, is returning to Oregon as an assistant softball coach, head coach Melyssa Lombardi announced Thursday.

Udria-Ragin joins Lombardi’s staff after a successful run as the head coach at Biola University that saw her lead the Eagles to the 2021 NCAA Division II championship series.

“Nikki is a tremendous competitor and an exceptional teammate who I first got to know while coaching her with Team USA,” said Lombardi. “As a player, she made everyone around her great and that has continued into her coaching career. Additionally, as one of the best players in program history, Nikki will have an immediate connection with our fans and our community and I know everyone will be really excited to welcome her home.”

The Biola staff was selected as the 2021 National Fastpitch Coaches Association West Region coaching staff of the year, while Udria was named the PacWest Conference coach of the year.

“It’s such a blessing to be returning to my alma mater as a coach,” said Udria-Ragin. “I’m extremely grateful to the athletic department and coach Lombardi for entrusting me with this position and welcoming me back to the university. I can’t wait to get back to Eugene with my husband and begin our life together. It’s an honor to be a part of Coach Lombardi’s staff, and to have the privilege to coach these amazing young women of Oregon. Go Ducks!”

In 2021, Biola set a number of program benchmarks. Not only did the Eagles advance to the national championship series for the first time, but Biola also broke into the NFCA Top 25 for the first time ever and climbed to No. 2 in the final poll. The Eagles posted a 26-16 final record in 2021. Along the way, The Eagles defeated Concordia-Irvine, the top seed in the West Region, 2-1 to advance to the national finals. Biola then defeated North Georgia twice and national top-seed Augustana once to move on to the championship series, before falling to West Texas A&M (two-games-to-one).

Udria-Ragin mentored three-time all-PacWest first team catcher Kayla Neff, who was named the 2019 PacWest player of the year. Udria-Ragin also coached the 2019 PacWest defensive player of the year, Missy Poti. During Udria-Ragin’s tenure, Neff and pitcher Paige Austin earned Biola’s first-ever NFCA/NCAA Division II All-West Region honors.

Udria-Ragin compiled a 72-38 record in three seasons as Biola’s head coach after serving as an assistant coach for the Eagles in 2018.
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As a Duck, Udria-Ragin played in the NCAA postseason all four years and was part of three NCAA Women’s College World Series teams and three Pac-12 championship teams.

She was a two-time All-American, a four-time all-region selection and a three-time all-Pac-12 infielder. The Covina, Calif., native was also named to the 2014 Pac-12 all-freshman team.

In her career, Udria-Ragin hit .375 with a .599 slugging percentage and a .462 on-base percentage. She amassed 247 hits, 35 home runs, 35 doubles and 179 RBI. Udria-Ragin also scored 196 runs and stole 35 bases. She still ranks second in UO career runs, third in hits and RBI, sixth in batting average and ninth in home runs.

Udria-Ragin graduated from Oregon in 2017 with a degree in communication disorders and sciences and a minor in special education. Following her senior season, Udria-Ragin was selected as the 18th overall pick in the 2017 NFP Draft by the Houston Scrap Yard Dawgs.

She was one of 35 competitors selected for the USA Women’s National Team in 2018, whose staff included Lombardi. She played with Team USA in games in Japan and the USA.

Earlier this month Udria-Ragin married Johnny Ragin III, who played linebacker for the Duck football team from 2014-16.