Fresno State softball coach Trisha Ford is taking her leadership skills back to the national level, announced Friday as one of three assistants for the 2016 women’s national team that will compete in three major international championships.
Ford, entering her fourth season with the Bulldogs, was named to the staff of head coach Ken Eriksen (South Florida) by USA Softball and the Amateur Softball Association. The other assistants are Howard Dobson (Louisiana State assistant) and John Rittman, a former Kansas assistant and Stanford head coach.
“It is such a great honor and I am ecstatic to assist Team USA with the continual growth and development of our pitchers,” Ford said in a Fresno State news release. “The opportunity to work with coach Ericksen, one of the best pitching minds in the game, is very exciting.
“I am very fortunate to be supported by our administration here at Fresno State who allow me an opportunity to represent not only the Valley, but most of all our country. Nothing compares to wearing USA on your chest and hearing our anthem being played.”
The U.S. will compete at the World Cup of Softball XI, the XV World Baseball Softball Confederation Women’s World Championship in Surrey, British Columbia, and the Japan Cup.
Ford joins the senior team after two seasons as an assistant for the USA Softball junior women’s national team, crowned champs at the 2015 WBSC Junior Worlds in Oklahoma City.
She’s the second Bulldog in history to coach at the national level, following predecessor Margie Wright, who was an assistant in 1996 and head coach in 1998.
Ex-Fresno State star, assistant and Olympian Laura Berg, currently the coach at Oregon State, was named to the staff of the Women’s Elite Team that will compete in exhibitions against the national team, in the World Cup and in exhibitions at the USA Softball JO Cup in Marietta, Ga.