Sonia (Ortiz) Ford enters her fifth season at the helm of the Pirate softball program in 2021, her 17th season as a coach in the program. She has an overall mark of 91-50 (.645 winning pct.) in her first three seasons, 44-10 (.815) in Western State Conference play. Ford has led the Pirates to the post season every season as head coach wit hthe exception of the Covid-shortened 2020 campaign, winning a play-in game in 2017 and matching the program's highest playoff seed and hosting the first round series in 2018.
Last season, the Pirates were 11-8 entering WSC play before Covid ended the season. VC posted an overall mark of 22-17, 13-3 in the WSC North Division in 2019, finishing in second place in the conference, receiving the No. 18 seed in the Southern California Regional Playoffs.
In 2018, the Pirates were 29-12 overall, and 12-2 in the WSC, good for a runner-up finish. VC matched its highest playoff seed in program history hosting a regional playoff series for just the second time. After a narrow 2-1 loss in the opener, the Pirates forced a deciding game three with a victory in game two, before bowingout of the playoffs.
In 2017, the Pirates claimed a share of the Western State Conference North Division title, VC's first since 2012, with a 19-4 conference mark. Ventura moved through the play-in round of the CCCAA SoCal Regionals by defeating Grossmont before falling in the first round of the post-season. The Pirates finished the season with an overall record of 29-14.
Coach Ford, a Camarillo native, was an All-WSC standout for the Pirates and an NAIA All-American at Oklahoma City University. She was inducted into the Ventura College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008.
After serving as assistant coach for 12 seasons, Coach Ford was named the head coach prior to the 2017 season. During her time on coach Susan Johnson's coaching staff, the Pirates posted a record of 283-222, a .560 winning percentage, and a 164-76 mark (.683) in Western State Conference play. VC won four conference titles during that time and advanced to the CCCAA SoCal Regional Playoffs eight times.
Growing up in Camarillo, Coach Ford played club softball for the El Rio Bobby Sox team and at Rio Mesa High School. She also played basketball for the Spartans.
Coach Ford enrolled at VC, beginning her Pirate career. Her sophomore year, the Pirates finished the year at 22-19 It was during her sophomore year that she became an outstanding softball player. The team finished runner-up in the Western State Conference, qualifying for the SoCal Regional Playoffs. The No. 7-seed Pirates lost an early round game, working back through the loser's bracket, culminating in a match-up with the No. 2-seed. Coach Ford pitched 21 innings in two memorable games as VC lost in the final inning, just missing a trip to the state tournament.
Coach Ford transferred to Oklahoma City University, a powerhouse NAIA school coming off of four consecutive national titles two years earlier. In her junior year, the Stars won the Sooner Athletic Conference and marched through the NAIA national tournament, falling in the championship game. Coach Ford was named second team NAIA All-American that season. As a senior, Ford led OCU to another SAC title and to the national championship. She earned first team All-American honors, was named the NAIA Tournament MVP, and received the NAIA Pitcher of the Year Award. She led the nation with 32 victories that season.
In the summers of 2002 and 2003, Ford played for an international travel team, playing in Europe. Also in 2002, She played for the Ventura 5 in a fast pitch woman's open league. Her team won the American Softball Association (ASA) Class C Championship, and Ford earned ASA first team All-American honors.
Sonia and her husband Brian have been married for 14 years, and have three children, Johnathan, Sophia and Alexander.