Sorden Joins Spartan Softball Staff
Longtime pitching coach comes to East Lansing after stint at Indiana
East Lansing, Mich. -- - Michigan State head coach Jacquie Joseph has announced the addition of Benjamin Sorden to the Spartan softball staff. Sorden comes to Michigan State after four seasons (2014-17) on the softball staff at Indiana.
“I’m excited to add someone of Ben's caliber to our program and look forward to getting the 2018 season started,” noted head coach Jacquie Joseph, who will embark on her 30th season as a head coach and 25th at the helm at Michigan State. “Ben has a strong stable of experience and possesses outstanding character. He’s bringing strong Midwestern ties as an Iowa native, has coached and experienced success at every level, and also has a great working knowledge of the Big Ten after spending four years at Indiana. He was a pitcher in men’s fastpitch and has been a part of championship-caliber teams as a coach. I think that he will be a great asset and mentor for our pitchers, and I think is a great addition to our staff and our program overall.”
“I’m honored to be back in the Big Ten working along Hall of Fame coach Jacquie Joseph," said the newest Spartan coach. "I want to thank Athletic Director Mark Hollis, Executive Associate AD Shelley Appelbaum, and the rest of the hiring committee. I look forward to joining the Spartan family and being a part of an amazing University and its collegiate athletics program that is enjoying so much success. From the initial contact through the entire interview process, it was very clear that Michigan State is a first-class organization, and I was incredibly impressed.
“Jacquie Joseph is an amazing mentor for people in her program,” continued Sorden. “She is not just about wins and losses and strategy, but also places an importance on preparing the young women in the program to be strong, confident, and ready to tackle the real world when their collegiate softball careers come to a conclusion. I’m excited to work with Jacquie, [Assistant Coach] Kaela Jackson and the student-athletes in our program."
Sorden will come to East Lansing after serving as the pitching coach for the Hoosiers from 2014-17. Over his four seasons in Bloomington, the Hoosiers had six All-Big Ten selection, 42 Academic All-Big Ten picks, and four NFCA All-Region selections, including pitcher Tara Trainer earning Third-Team honors last spring. While on staff, Trainer set the Indiana freshman strikeout record in 2016 and currently sits in fifth place in the Indiana record book for career strikeouts. Trainer is listed at No. 21 on Fastpitch News' Preseason Top 50 NCAA Softball Pitchers List prior to the 2017 campaign. In 2017, Sorden saw freshman Emily Goodin toss a no-hitter against UAB on Feb. 24 and twice earn Big Ten weekly honors. In addition, Trainer had another productive season in the circle, fanning 173 batters, which was third in the Big Ten and 51st nationally. In 2016, Sorden helped the Hoosiers produce the highest overall win total (29) and Big Ten victory total (10) since 2012 while also shutting out Wisconsin to earn their first win in the Big Ten Tournament since 2006.
Sorden joined IU after serving as an assistant coach at Coe College (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) where he coached three All-American pitchers, seven NCAA All-Region pitchers and four Iowa Conference Pitchers of the Year. During his tenure with the Kohawks, Sorden also helped Coe College to three conference championships, eight NCAA Regional appearances, two NCAA Division III Women's College World Series appearances (fifth place, 2006; second place, 2009) and nine finishes in the NCAA Top 25.
In addition to his time at Coe College, Sorden was the head coach for Solon High School (Solon, Iowa) in 2011 and 2012, where he earned back-to-back WaMaC East Coach of the Year honors after piloting SHS to back-to-back WaMaC East Championships, consecutive Regional Championships and two state tournament appearances, including a runner-up finish in 2012.In just two seasons, Sorden's team posted a 71-17 record, produced seven All-State players as well as a 3A Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year in 2012. He was named the Northeast Iowa District Coach of the Year in 2012.
In 2010, Sorden served as an assistant coach at South Mountain Community College (Phoenix, Ariz.). There, he helped the program earn its first NJCAA Region 1 Championship and was part of the ACCAC Coaching Staff of the Year that season.
Sorden spent three years as a student assistant at Buena Vista University (Storm Lake, Iowa). While on staff, the Beavers earned two conference championships, three NCAA Regional appearances as well as a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Division III College World Series in 1994.
Not only does Sorden bring years of experience and success as a coach, but he also pitched men's fastpitch for over 10 years on a number of teams in both state and regional tournaments. Sorden is a 1995 graduate of Buena Vista University, where he earned a BA in Management and Entrepreneurship. He spent nearly 20 years as a financial advisor with specialization in retirement and estate planning. In addition to serving as a clinician at softball camps and clinics for many years, Sorden is also a former NCAA Football referee with six consecutive seasons of post-season assignments, including the 2011 NCAA Division III semifinals.