When State Fair Community College head softball coach Lindsay Taylor was scouting and then signed Montgomery County's Jordan Fischer earlier this year to a national letter of intent to compete for her team starting this fall, another Lady Wildcats she was able to learn all about was Anna Ford.
When Taylor then discovered later on that Ford was still available and that she still had one more scholarship to offer, one of the things that made the possibility so attractive to the Lady Wildcat is that the Lady Roadrunners already had one of her own in their midst. That's why the more the two spoke the more this seemed like a matchup both sides would be better off making, which is exactly what they did Tuesday in the high school gym.
"I also considered Central Methodist University, the University of Central Missouri and University of Missouri. I chose SFCC because I get to play softball with my friends," said Ford. "I loved the SFCC campus. It felt like home. I'll be majoring in nursing. I want to help others. It feels good to make it this far, but I'm nervous and excited for what lies ahead. I'll eventually transfer to Mizzou, so I need to stay focused. I made a lot of friends at Montgomery County and reached a lot of goals."
In her time on the diamond as a Lady Wildcat Ford was a veritable machine when it came to awards. This includes earning All-Conference and All-District honors all four years of her varsity career. She was also was issued All-Regional accolades in her junior and senior seasons and last year she was named First Team All-State.
"Anna has been our top hitter the past four years, so it's going to be rough trying to replace her in our lineup. She hits the ball very well and she's very pivotal in the field," said Montgomery County coach Audra Heimer. "She can play first base and third. She can pitch. Anna can play basically anywhere you ask her to. State Fair is getting a tough player who will work until she gets something right. She wants to be the best softball player she can be."
This season as a pitcher Ford was in the circle for 130 of the Lady Wildcats 134 innings and sported a 3.29 earned run average. She also struck out 124 with just 36 walks after spending the past three seasons between the corners of the infield.
"Anna will be fine with the leap in competition from high school to college. She's been playing against elite competition with her travel team during the summers in places like St. Louis and Kansas City, so I don't think that jump will be too hard for her," Heimer said. "She's seen some really good softball, both in high school, as well as during the summer. We'd like to think this means our program is moving in the right direction. The younger girls see the older girls finding success and that motivates them."
At the plate in 2017-18 Ford's reasons for celebration were just as wide spread and included a .479 batting average on 34 hits with 32 runs batted in. She also put up eight doubles, four home runs and three triples.
Last season State Fair had a record of 11-38 overall according to njcaa.org. The squad was also 3-19 in the Missouri Community College Athletic Conference. The upcoming season starts Sept. 19 at home against Central Methodist University followed by a trip to Southwest Baptist University on Sept. 30.
"She fits in with the rest of our girls because she has a good personality. She's a good kid who can play softball. Anna takes her books seriously and she can hit on top of that," said SFCC head coach Lindsay Taylor. "We're definitely looking for hitters. If you have a bat, you're going to find a position in the lineup. We'll see exactly where she fits in when we get there, but we're looking forward to getting her bat in our lineup. If a player can play more than one position, that's huge, as well."