Eric Lewis enters his first season as assistant coach of the Vikings after being involved in the game as a player and coach for the past 30 years.
As the head coach at LeSueur-Henderson for the past 17 years, Lewis brings a record of 223-157. His Giants teams captured 6 Minnesota River Conference titles along with winning the Section 2AA titles three years in a row 2014, 2015 and 2016. Also the Giants finished second, fourth and fifth in the MN state tournament. Lewis was also named Section Coach of the Year in 2011, 2014 and 2016.
Lewis started playing fastpitch at the age of 12 years old, and played in numerous national and world championships winning titles in 1993, 2003 and 2008. He was named International Softball Congress All World in 2002, as well as North American Fastpitch Association All World in 2001, 2003, 2007 and MVP in 2008. Lewis was then inducted into the NAFA Hall of Fame in 2012.
“I am extremely excited to become part of the Viking family. Having played against and coached with Coach Nessler for years it is my belief that together we can put together a competitive group that not only make the BLC family proud on the field, but off the field as well.”
Lewis makes his home in LeSueur, MN with his wife Anne and three children Joe, Abby, and Jack.
A native of North Mankato, Ashley Hanley is entering her second season as an Assistant Softball Coach under Dan Nessler.. She got her start in softball right here in Mankato, playing for the Mankato Peppers and then for Mankato West High School. As a Scarlet, she helped her team to two state tournament appearances, including a second place finish in 2008. She then went on to play college softball at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
During her time at River Falls, Hanley received NFCA All-Great Lakes Region second team honors in 2010 and 2012, along with third team recognition in 2011. She earned All-WIAC first team status in 2011 and 2012, and claimed honorable mention laurels in 2010 and 2013. In 2011 and 2012, Hanley helped the Falcons earn a NCAA Division III Championship bid by winning the WIAC tournament title. The 2011 squad also won the conference regular-season crown. She finished her career second on the program's all-time list with 34 home runs, 49 doubles and 140 RBI, while placing third with a .384 batting average.
Hanley triple-majored in journalism, political science and communication studies. She earned the UW-River Falls Chancellor's Award for Students during the 2012-13 academic year - this award is the highest non-academic honor a student can receive at UW-River Falls. Hanley was named to the 2013 Capital One Academic All-America® NCAA Division III Softball Third Team, after securing first team honors in 2012. She is the first two-time Academic All-America® selection in program history.
A four-time member of the WIAC Scholastic Honor Roll and National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Scholar-Athlete recipient, she claimed the WIAC Judy Kruckman Softball Scholar-Athlete Award in 2013. Hanley remains the only Falcon to receive the WIAC's nomination for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award.
Outside of softball, Hanley is employed by KEYC News 12 in Mankato as a news-anchor.
Brent Meshke enters his second season as an assistant coach for the Bethany Softball program.
A recent graduate of South Dakota State University, Meshke served as the women's softball student manager during much of his collegiate career. He brought an extensive fastpitch softball background to the Jackrabbit’s team, playing at national and international levels.
Meshke was named the Most Valuable Pitcher and a member of the All-World Team at the 2015 North American Fastpitch Assoc. (NAFA) Men's Class A World Series Championship. From the circle, he led the West Fargo Bombers, West Fargo, N.D., that went undefeated to win the 46-team tournament. This was the third time he has been named to a NAFA All-World Team.
In 2015 he also led the Hennager fastpitch softball team of Lake Crystal, Minn. to the Minnesota Men's Fastpitch Class B State Championship.
Meshke is a member of the 2012 USA Softball Junior Men's National Team that captured fifth place in the World Championship in Paraná, Argentina. As a team member, Meshke gained experience at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.
As a youth, he earned ASA National Boy’s Fastpitch Softball Team Runners-Up medals in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013, with the national title in 2011.
At South Dakota State University he majored in Agricultural Sciences with minors in Ag Business and Animal Science.
Meshke is currently a Sales Agronomist at Crystal Valley Cooperative in Lake Crystal, MN.