Boise State produced two decisive victories on Sunday at the DeMarini Classic - a 9-1 triumph over Southern Utah and a 16-7 win against UTEP
Boise State softball picked up two victories on Friday at the DeMarini Classic in Las Vegas - a decisive 7-1 triumph over Weber State and a thrilling 2-1 walk-off win against Memphis
In only her third season as head coach, Ball took the Broncos to their first postseason appearance in program history. The 2017 Broncos reached the Regional Title Game of the National Invitational Softball Championship.
After a combined 26-80 record in her first two seasons, Ball led a turnaround of the program, finishing 2017 with a 33-20 record. The 33 wins are tied for second for the most in a season in program history. Under her watch, the 2017 team finished the season ranked in the top 25 nationally in three categories: batting average (8th), double plays (5th) and runs scored per game (23rd). Ball also helped Boise State finish with a 12-12 record in Mountain West play, the most conference wins in her tenure.
Ball's first season as the Bronco boss concluded with a 12-42 record and a 4-20 mark in Mountain West play. Boise State, however, ended the season strong at home, capturing two of its final three home series in conference play (Nevada, Colorado State).
Along with the performances of All-Mountain West payers Devon Bridges and Jordan Kreiger, Ball helped develop the next wave of Broncos as freshmen Sara Ketelsleger (.278, 45 hits, 12 doubles, 26 RBI) and Makenzie Sullivan (.259, 37 hits, 13 doubles, six home runs, 30 RBI) as well as junior-college transfer Teauna Hughes (.263, 36 hits, nine doubles, four home runs, 17 RBI) had strong campaigns in 2015.
Ball brought four years' experience as a head coach as well as eight years as a Division I assistant coach with her to Boise. She spent the 2013-14 seasons as an assistant at Cal State Northridge, and served on the coaching staff at Washington for the 2011-12 campaigns after serving as head coach at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento, Calif. from 2008-10.
At Cal State Northridge, Ball worked primarily with the pitching staff while also assisting with the Matador outfielders. Ball helped develop two NFCA All-West Region selections in 2014, as freshman outfielder Taylor Glover earned a spot on the first team, becoming the first Matador field player named all-region since 2004, and junior pitcher Brianna Elder was tabbed for the third team. Glover and Elder were each named to the All-Big West First Team while Glover also earned a spot on the Big West All-Freshman Team.
In two seasons at Washington, Ball served as recruiting coordinator and was responsible for the development of a Husky pitching staff which produced second-team All-American Kaitlin Inglesby in 2012. The Huskies went 76-35 during Ball's two seasons in Seattle and reached a pair of NCAA Super Regionals.
She began her collegiate head-coaching career at Modesto Junior College in Modesto, Calif., where in 2007 she led the program to a 16-win improvement from the prior campaign, going 25-22 and capturing a regional title. Ball then took the helm at Cosumnes River College, overseeing the restart of the program after a year's break in 2007. Over three seasons Ball guided the Hawks to a 111-44 record, highlighted by an appearance at the Cal JC State Final Four Tournament in 2010.
Ball began her coaching career in the season following her graduation from the University of Pacific in 2002. While working towards her master's degree in education, she served on the Pacific staff during the 2003-06 seasons.
At Pacific, Ball served as pitching coach while helping scout, assist with practice plans, monitor students academics and promoting and organizing camps. Over her four years in Stockton the Tigers accumulated an overall record of 126-97 with a 41-39 mark in the Big West.
During her four-year playing career at Pacific (1999-2002), Ball was twice named an NFCA All-American (2001-02) and Big West Pitcher of the Year (2001-02) as the Tigers went 162-77 and made three NCAA Tournament appearances (1999, 2001-02). She enjoyed her best season in 2001, going 33-9 while helping lead Pacific to a still-standing school-record 50 wins. Ball remains the most decorated pitcher in school history, holding nine career-pitching records through the 2014 season: appearances (149), starts (116), innings pitched (883.1), wins (91), saves (10), strikeouts (761), strikeouts per seven innings (6.03), complete games (104) and shutouts (45).
She was just as dangerous at the plate as in the circle, batting .275 over four seasons with 19 home runs, 111 runs batted in and drawing 76 walks. The latter three marks remain top-seven career marks in the Pacific record book through 2014. Ball also established single-season records in pitching appearances (49, twice), starts (39), wins (33), saves (6), strikeouts (291), strikeouts per seven innings (7.21), complete games (37), shutouts (18) and RBI's (46). Of those marks, seven still stand through 2014.
On March 3, 2012, Ball was one of the first two players in program history to have her number retired (No. 9) in recognition of her contributions on and off the field to the growth and endurance of the Pacific program.
Ball graduated from Pacific in 2002 with a bachelor's degree in sports sciences and earned her master's in education in 2006.
She played professionally in Italy in 2002, leading Team Bussolengo to the playoffs while pacing the squad in batting, home runs and earned-run average. In 2004, Ball played for the Stockton-Sacramento Sunbirds in the National Pro Fastpitch League, and from 2008-10 participated in the Canada Cup where she was an All-Star in 2008.
Ball and her husband, Bobby Malone, reside in Boise with their son, Four (Robert Malone IV) and daughter Sawyer.
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