Kristina Thorson Returns As Softball Assistant Coach
BERKELEY – California softball head coach Chelsea Spencer is bringing a former Golden Bear back to Berkeley. Cal Athletic Hall of Famer Kristina Thorson has been named assistant coach for the California softball team as announced by Spencer on Monday.
"I am excited to announce that Kristina Thorson will be coming home to her alma mater as the next pitching coach for Cal softball," Spencer said. "As a 2018 Cal Hall of Fame inductee, she has had an incredible pitching career here at Cal and went on to dominate as well in the professional ranks. I know she will continue that success in the circle for our student-athletes. Professionally, Kristina has helped many young pitchers become top recruits in the country and I am very confident that she will take our battery back to an elite level. Kristina bleeds Blue and Gold and she is the absolute perfect one for this job. Welcome home! Go Bears!"
Thorson became the first Cal pitcher to be named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year, receiving the honor as a senior. A three-time second-team All-American, she was named first-team all-region as a senior and to the second team as a sophomore and junior. In addition, she was a three-time first-team All-Pac-10 choice, as well as an honorable mention pick as a freshman. She was named Most Outstanding Player at the NCAA regional in 2004.
During her collegiate career, Thorson tossed a pair of no-hitters, vs. Virginia in 2004 (perfect game) and Oregon State in 2006. As a senior, she set then-school records for wins in a season (36) and saves in a season (5). She appeared in 53 games that year with 36 complete games and 461 strikeouts (No. 3 all-time at Cal). On Cal's career lists, Kristina ranks fourth in wins (102), first in saves (12), third in games pitched (173) and fourth in strikeouts (1,071). She paced the Bears in ERA her last three years with a low of 0.83 as a senior.
"After 15 years, I'm thrilled to be coming home to the program that gave me everything," Thorson said. "To have this opportunity, with my former teammate, is a dream come true. It's still very surreal that something we talked about when we played together is actually coming to fruition."
Following graduating from Cal, Thorson enjoyed a five-year career in the NPF (National Pro Fastpitch) from 2007-12. She was tabbed the NPF Rookie of the Year in 2007 and an NPF All-Star in 2008 and 2011. Thorson also enjoyed a stint of playing professionally in Italy from 2009-10.
Thorson has also been a private pitching coach since 2007. Her coaching experience includes serving as head coach for California High School in 2010, head coach for the 12-U Shockers Fastpitch team in 2014, and assistant coach for the 14-U Lady Hustle in 2015 and the 14-U Sorcerer Fastpitch squad in 2016.
Thorson is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist.