Walsh University Vice President and Director of Athletics Dale Howard has announced the hiring of Anna Ball as the new head coach of the Cavaliers softball team. Ball comes to Walsh after serving as the head coach for Lawrence Tech since 2015.
"I would like to thank President Jusseaume and Vice President/Athletic Director Dale Howard for giving me the opportunity to join the Walsh community. Growing up in parochial schools in northeastern Ohio, I have always held the academic prestige and allure of a Walsh experience in high regard," said Ball. "I am excited to connect with alumni and supporters, while forging a solid foundation as the athletic department transitions into the G-MAC. Walsh softball has an impressive tradition of competing strongly and I am ready to build on the hard work of former players and coaches. I am proud to call myself a Cavalier."
"Anna Ball brings with her a passion for the sport of softball, but more importantly, a passion for the holistic development of the student athlete, said Howard. "Her experiences as a premier player at the collegiate level and subsequent development as an assistant coach and then head coach have prepared her to lead the Walsh Softball program to the next level."
Ball started the Blue Devil program from scratch and guided Lawrence Tech to a 22-26 record in its inaugural season with 14 losses by two runs or less. That also included wins against No. 8 Davenport, No. 23 Park, and No. 25 Georgetown.
She has also served as the head coach for Adrian College and Southern Wesleyan University. At Adrian, she led the Bulldogs to a 20-16 season for their best start in five years. The offense greatly improved during her one season there as Adrian broke the team overall home runs record in addition to many individual hitting records.
Prior to her time at Adrian, Ball spent three seasons at Southern Wesleyan. In her final campaign, she guided the Warriors to the best offensive team in program history and coached the team's first All-American in 10 years. The year before the Warriors had their best season in 13 years and had wins over five teams ranked in the top 25.
Before becoming a head coach, she was an assistant at her alma mater Notre Dame College. In addition to being a start athlete for the Falcons, she helped elevate the program as a coach as well.
During her senior season, she led Notre Dame to a sixth-place finish at the NAIA national tournament and was named to the All-Tournament Team. The Falcons went on to qualify for the national tournament the next two seasons.
Ball was a threat every time she stepped to the plate and still remains the NAIA's career leader in batting average and slugging percentage with marks of .516 and .862. She's also second in doubles with 87.
She was an NAIA All-American in 2007 and 2008, NAIA Academic All-American in 2008 and 2009, American Mideast Conference Player of the year from 2007 through 2009, the AMC Freshman of the Year in 2006.
Ball is a two-time Notre Dame College Hall of Fame selection after being inducted as a player in 2014 and as a part of the College World Series team the following season.
She is a native of Mansfield, Ohio, and graduated from St. Peter's High School in 2005.