The Pac-12 conference honors were in nice supply for the No. 6 Sun Devils after a 43-11 season, but none more special than for their leader head coach Trisha Ford.
In just her second season at ASU, Ford was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year Saturday.
Ford’s Sun Devils finished third in a competitive conference at 16-8, just behind No. 2 Oregon and No. 1 UCLA. She also took a team that was originally fighting to stay in the top-25 to a top-10 team throughout conference play.
.@ASUSoftball came into the season unranked. By the end, @TheSunDevils spent the final seven weeks in the top 10.— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) May 13, 2018
At the helm was #Pac12SB Coach of the Year @Trisha_Ford: https://t.co/zAjKtxepsL pic.twitter.com/AxUkk5twQz
“We’ve played everybody to prepare us for postseason,” Ford said. “I thought we handled ourselves very well during conference play. We had some ups and downs but overall I’m very happy with how we finished in the ‘Pac’.”
This team was coming off a 32-26 season that included just six conference wins. The 43 wins is also the most by a Sun Devil team since 2014.
This is the third time in history ASU Softball has been awarded conference coach of the year with the previous two awarded to Clint Myers in 2008 and 2011. Both of those seasons saw the Sun Devils finish the year as National Champions.
Ford is also the third ASU head coach to be named Pac-12 Coach of the Year in 2018. Wrestling coach Zeke Jones picked up his second-consecutive honor and Gymnastics coach Jay Santos picked up his first honor as a Sun Devil.
As for the other accolades, ASU had seven different players receive conference honors.
Headlining the all-conference first team includes sophomore pitcher Giselle ‘G’ Juarez and freshman first baseman Danielle Gibson. Outfielders Kindra Hackbarth and Morgan Howe joined shortstop Jade Gortarez on the all-conference second team. Second baseman Marisa Stankiewicz was tabbed to the all-conference third team as well. Rounding out the honors with the all-freshman team was Gibson and DeNae Chatman.
The Sun Devils now patiently wait for Selection Sunday to decide their fate for their first match-up in the NCAA Regionals. The announcement is Sunday May 13 at 7 p.m. MST on ESPN2.