Former Pacific softball star and coach honored by WCC

Cindy Ball-Malone smiles as she talks to three softball players

Cindy Ball-Malone (Photo: UCF Athletics)

Cindy Ball-Malone ’02, ‘05, the best two-way player (pitcher and hitter) in Pacific program history and one of the top college softball coaches in the country, will be Pacific’s honoree in the 2023 West Coast Conference Hall of Honor.

She will be recognized in a special ceremony March 4 during the WCC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament along with nine other inductees.

“Cindy paved an amazing path in her career,” said Pacific Head Softball Coach Brian Kolze, who recruited her to the Tiger program. “She was an amazing athlete and leader—on the field, off the field and in the classroom.” 

Ball-Malone said her time at Pacific and the support of her family have been the driving forces in her playing and coaching career.

“Over 20 years ago Coach Kolze gave me the greatest opportunity to be a Tiger, attain a high-level education and he handed me the ball with trust to lead our amazing team,” Ball-Malone said. 

Ball-Malone’s dominance in pitching and at the plate led the Tigers to a 50-win season in 2001, the most wins in a single season for any squad in Pacific softball history.

She earned National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-America honors in 2001 and 2002 and was named Big West Conference Pitcher of the Year both years. She also was named to the 2002 Verizon First-Team Academic All-America squad.

She concluded her career as Pacific’s leader in innings pitched (883.1), wins (91), saves (10), strikeouts (761), shutouts (46) and RBI (111).  

After her playing career, Ball-Malone joined the Tiger coaching staff for three seasons. She then spent time coaching at Modesto Junior College, Cosumnes River College, University of Washington, Cal State Northridge and Boise State, where she was head coach for four years.

Since 2018, she has been head coach at University of Central Florida, leading the Knights to a 145-59-2 record over four seasons, including a 49-14 mark in 2022. UCF won the 2022 American Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles. The Knights earned the No. 16 seed in the NCAA Tournament, hosted a regional tournament and advanced to the super regionals. In June, Ball-Malone was named the national coach of the year by Extra Innings Softball. 

“The program, the university and I are proud of all that Cindy has accomplished,” Kolze said. 

Ball-Malone graduated from Pacific in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in sport science and a master’s degree in education in 2005. She was inducted into the Pacific Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014. She and her husband, Bobby, live in Orlando with their children: Four, Ryder, Cayson and Sawyer. 

Pacific’s softball team begins its season on the road Feb. 10 at the NorCal Kickoff hosted by UC Davis and Sacramento State. The first home game is Feb. 25 against Nevada. Tickets are available online