Stanford Softball Staff Tabbed Best In West Region

June 29, 2009

Stanford, Calif. - The 2009 Stanford softball coaching staff - head coach John Rittman, associate head coach Trisha Ford, assistant coach Jessica Allister and student assistant coach Michelle Smith - has been voted the 2009 NFCA West Region Coaching Staff of the Year, as announced by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association today.

The staff led the Cardinal to its winningest season in school history in 2009, with an .814 winning percentage coming from a 48-11 overall record. They guided the team to its 11th 40-win season, took it to a 12th-straight NCAA Tournament, led it to its fourth NCAA Super Regional in five years and helped it match its best conference record ever (13-8).

The squad held the No. 2 spot nationally for four weeks during the year, matching the program's best rank. It stayed in the top five for 13 weeks in a row, including the entire Pac-10 season, the longest top-five streak in school history. The staff guided Alissa Haber, Missy Penna and Ashley Hansen to All-America honors, marking the 12th consecutive year that the team has boasted at least one All-American.

It marked the third time in program history that the Stanford staff has been recognized with the award. In 1998, Rittman and assistant coach Lonni Alameda were honored after leading Stanford to its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament. In 2001, Rittman, Alameda and Sarah Pickering were took home the award after guiding the Cardinal to its first Women's College World Series.

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