GREENSBORO, N.C. – Former UNCG softball player and assistant coach Tara Csernecky died Dec. 10 at the age of 40 from a heart attack at her home in Stony Point, N.Y.
Csernecky played at UNCG from 1992-94 after transferring from Greensboro College. A first baseman and pitcher, the West Haverstraw, N.Y., native went from walk-on to starter by the time her collegiate career was finished.
Csernecky hit .300 and went 12-6 in the circle for the Spartans in 1992, their inaugural season at the Division I level. She led the Spartans with a .320 batting average as a junior in 1993, helping UNCG to a 36-14-2 overall mark and a 7-0-1 record in the Big South Conference to claim the league's regular-season title. A team captain the following year, Csernecky started all 58 games and helped the Spartans to a 35-23 record with a 10-4 Big South mark. UNCG won the Big South tournament that year, earning a spot in the NCAA tournament play-in series.
She went 17-8 with a 2.28 ERA as a pitcher in her UNCG career. As a team, the Spartans were 102-55-3 in her three seasons as a player (.647).
A 1994 UNCG graduate, Csernecky returned to UNCG as an assistant coach from 1997-98. In 1997, she was part of a staff that directed the Spartans to a 40-25 record, a Big South tournament title and UNCG's first NCAA tournament berth. The following season, Csernecky helped UNCG to a 32-25 mark and a second-place finish in the Southern Conference, its best finish in the league to date.
Csernecky went on to serve as head coach at Austin Peay from the 1999-2004 seasons. Under her guidance, the Lady Govs had three first-team All-Ohio Valley Conference selections and nine second-team picks.
After leaving Austin Peay, Csernecky became a high school science teacher in the New York public schools.
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