Monka is a two-time watch list member while Allard earned top-25 finalist status for the award in 2011
Former Northwestern All-America pitcher Courtnay Foster -- who starred for the Wildcats from 2003-06 -- returned to the program as the Wildcats' pitching coach on Sept. 7, 2010. She is in her fifth season as a full-time assistant coach after serving as NU's volunteer assistant in 2008.
Foster graduated with a bachelor's degree in communication studies following the 2006 Women's College World Series. As a member of the coaching staff in 2008, she contributed to the Wildcats' Big Ten regular-season and tournament championships. Then-sophomore Lauren Delaney earned Big Ten Pitcher of the Year and Big Ten Tournament MVP honors that season with Foster's help.
In her first season as the full-time assistant in 2011, Foster mentored a three-member pitching staff. She successfully taught all three hurlers new spins during the offseason, leading to career-best campaigns for senior Jessica Smith and sophomore Meghan Lamberth. Freshman Sammy Albanese threw the 44th no-hitter in Northwestern history during her first collegiate season.
In 2012, Foster again led Lamberth to a career-best season while mentoring freshman Amy Letourneau into an ace-caliber pitcher. Letourneau proved her prowess by shutting out No. 6 overall seed Texas -- which boasted the nation's top offensive attack -- in the opening round of the 2012 NCAA Austin Regional. In 2013, Letourneau won the Big Ten strikeout crown in the circle with 113 punchouts in conference play while also earning the league's batting title at the plate. She earned NFCA All-Region honors for the year.
"Courtnay has been a catalyst in the winning culture associated with our program both as a player and a coach," Drohan said. "Her contributions to the University extend far beyond her work on the field, and we are excited to have her back and involved with the program on a daily basis. Her strong teaching skills and mentoring ability will be key in the development of our pitching staff."
Following 2008, Foster and fellow former Wildcat Katie Logan played professionally in Nuoro in Sardinia, Italy, for one season. She then moved home to her native Tucson, Ariz., serving as the lead softball instructor at Yard East while giving pitching lessons and working clinics throughout the Tucson and Phoenix areas. She also took on management roles at the Yard, which was her last stop before returning to Evanston.
A member of the Drohans' first recruiting class in 2002, Foster became the Wildcats' most dominant pitcher since Lisa Ishikawa led NU to three-consecutive Women's College World Series appearances in the mid 1980's. In Foster's career, she compiled an 80-37 record with a 1.49 ERA and 1,014 strikeouts. In one of her final outings as a senior, Foster struck out 13 batters in 4.2 innings of relief to earn the win against Alabama in the opening round of the 2006 WCWS.
Foster was a three-time All-Big Ten and Academic All-Big Ten honoree, and also a two-time NFCA All-Mideast Region accolade winner. In addition to her prowess in the circle, Foster's natural leadership ability helped mentor 2007 NU graduate Eileen Canney to three All-America honors and several school pitching records. Canney went on to have a successful professional career with both the Chicago Bandits of the NPF and overseas in Japan while also earning a spot on the 2010 USA Softball Women's National Team.