The Cardinal open the 2012 campaign on Friday, Feb. 10 in Tempe, Ariz.
Trisha Ford, a former standout at Saint Mary's College, spent nine seasons on the Cardinal coaching staff, includingfour as the team's associate head coach. A former pitcher and outstanding hitter, Ford came to The Farm in the summer of 2003, and helped the program's pitchers to notable success in the circle. In addition to being the primary pitching coach, Ford's duties included working with the infielders. Off the field shewas responsible for recruiting, community outreach as well as camps and clinics.
"Trisha is an outstanding coach and does a tremendous job working with our pitching staff and defense," said head coach John Rittman. "She brings a lot of enthusiasm and energy to our coaching staff and has an amazing work ethic. Her dedication to our program both on and off the field has led to contributions in all aspects of the program. We're proud to have someone of her caliber on our staff."
In 2011, Ford mentored pitchers Teagan Gerhart and Ashley Chinn, who collectively recorded a 1.93 team ERA. Gerhart ended the year with a 1.74 ERA, a 26-13 record and 250 strikeouts. Her 26 wins tied for fifth on the school's single season list, while the 250 Ks ranked seventh. Chinn was 16-4 overall with a 2.30 ERA and 117 strikeouts. The pair helped lead Stanford to its 14th consecutive postseason appearance and advanced the Cardinal to its fifth super regional in the past seven years. Under Ford's Guidance, Gerhart was selected the All-Pac-10 Conference First Team, while Chinn was named an All-Pac-10 honorable mention. Additionally, Gerhart was selected the the NFCA First Team All-West Region.
In 2010, Ford coached one of the best young pitchers in the nation in Teagan Gerhart. As a rookie, Gerhart posted a 1.65 ERA and a 22-6 overall record. She tallied 173 strikeouts and 18 complete games with 11 shutouts. Her 22 wins and 173 K's already rank 10th-best in school history, while her 11 shutouts is eighth all-time. Gerhart also made history last season, throwing three consecutive no-hitters beginning with a perfect game, a feat that had yet to be achieved by a Pac-10 Conference pitcher. At the conclusion of the season, Ford had guided Gerhart to All-Pac-10 honorable mention accolades, a spot on the all-freshmen team and NFCA All-West Region Second Team honors.
In 2009, Ford was a part of the staff that led the team to its winningest season in school history (48-11; .814). She helped senior pitcher Missy Penna garner her second All-America honor. With the help of Ford, Penna ranked among the top five pitchers nationally in shutouts (4th), strikeouts (5th) and wins (4th). Penna, who matched the previous conference record with five Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week awards during the year, was the first player in Stanford history to be among the final 10 USA Softball National Player of the Year finalists. Penna left Stanford as the program's career win (119), strikeout (1,267), shutout (50), innings pitched (1,086.1) and no-hitter (5) leader. The team concluded one of the most successful seasons to date, tallying its 11th 40-win season, competing in its 12th-straight NCAA Tournament and advancing to its fourth Super Regional in five years.
In 2008, Ford played a critical role in Stanford's success, guiding junior pitcher Missy Penna to a breakout season and her first career All-America honor. Under Ford's guidance, Penna set a school record with 37 wins, pitched a school-best 335 innings and became the eighth player in Pac-10 history, and the first at Stanford, to record 400 or more strikeouts in a single season. Behind one of the best team ERAs in school history (1.37), Stanford posted its second-highest win total with a 49-15 record, advanced to its 11th-straight NCAA Tournament and earned a trip to the College Station Super Regional.
In 2007, Ford was part of the staff that helped Stanford to its 11th consecutive winning season, a 35-21-1 overall record, its tenth-straight NCAA berth and a spot in the regional championship. Under Ford's guidance, Penna became just the second pitcher in program history to post 300 strikeouts in a season and the third to notch 25 or more wins.
With the help of Ford, the 2006 Cardinal won 42 games, captured the regional title in Fresno and advanced to the NCAA Super Regional in Tuscaloosa, Ala. She guided Penna, then a freshman, to 22 wins and 179 strikeouts, more than any rookie in program history.
In 2005, Ford helped the squad to a share of its first-ever Pac-10 title, an NCAA Regional appearance and a 43-16 overall record. Freshman pitcher Becky McCullough posted a career-best 21 wins in her rookie campaign, and Stanford recorded one of the top five ERAs in program history (1.62).
In 2004, her first season at Stanford, Ford helped guide the team to a 49-19 record, a regional title and its second appearance in the Women's College World Series. Under Ford's guidance, All-American pitcher Dana Sorensen set new program bests for wins (34) and strikeouts (358), while posting a 1.41 ERA. Prior to coming to The Farm, Ford spent two seasons as the head softball coach at Saint Mary's College in Moraga.
In 2003, Ford's squad finished the season with a 25-27 record and a .481 winning percentage, the best in school history.
Prior to being named head coach, Ford served as an assistant at Saint Mary's in 2001. Arguably the best player in Saint Mary's program history, Ford, the former Trisha Dean, is the only female athlete in school history to have had her number (9) retired. She finished her career holding records in batting average (.364), hits (230), RBI (114) and doubles (62). In 1998 alone, Ford led the nation with 25 doubles and set a new school single-season batting average record (.435). She ranks among the program's top-10 in five career statistical categories and eight single-season statistical categories. Following the conclusion of the Western Intercollegiate Softball League (WISL) Tournament in 1998 and 1999, Ford garnered all-tournament honors, and was named the Most Valuable Offensive Player at the 1999 WISL Tournament. As a senior in 2000, she captained the team and garnered the Saint Mary's Career Achievement Award. In the spring of 2007, Ford was among six former athletes and coaches to be inducted into the Saint Mary's College Hall of Fame.
Ford graduated from Saint Mary's with a degree in politics in 1999. A native of Fremont, Calif., she earned nine varsity letters in softball, volleyball and basketball during her prep career at American High School. An All-East Bay pick as a senior, Ford was also a four-time All-Mission Valley Athletic League selection.
Ford and her husband, Eddie, married in the summer of 2005. Their first child, Emma, was born on August 16, 2007. The couple welcomed their second child, Eddie, on December 8, 2011.