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Building Blocks: Bridget Baxter-Orchard
Bridget Baxter-Orchard got her start in the coaching world under mentor, Villanova coach Maria DiBernardi's tutelage.
 
Bridget Baxter-Orchard got her start in the coaching world under mentor, Villanova coach Maria DiBernardi's tutelage.
 

Oct. 10, 2013

VILLANOVA, Pa. - Former Villanova softball second baseman and assistant coach, Bridget Baxter-Orchard was recently inducted into the Cabrini College Hall of Fame after leading the Cavaliers to 129 victories, including three Pennsylvania Athletic Conference championships and two NCAA Division III Regional Finals in four seasons.

Baxter-Orchard did not envision a career path in softball until she accepted an interim assistant coaching position with Villanova upon graduation. In that season, Baxter-Orchard would ensure her love for the sport along with the opportunity to mentor student-athletes.

At the time, Baxter-Orchard was the only player in Villanova history to have recorded at least 200 hits and score at least 100 runs. She ranks No. 6 all-time at Villanova in hits, 216, and runs, 110, in a single season, garnering her first-team BIG EAST honors in 1995.

Following her only season on Villanova's coaching staff, Baxter-Orchard jumped at an opportunity to become a head coach at a Division III college seeking someone to establish a program from scratch.

No one could envision the job Baxter-Orchard would do with a team of 15 players and a scarce amount of resources, including no home. In her first season at the helm, Baxter-Orchard led them to a 22-12-1 record.

Eventually, Baxter-Orchard would lay the foundation for a program that ranked top-10 nationally by USA Today and competed for National Championships on a yearly basis.

The former Villanova standout is currently in her 13th season as the head coach of Fordham University, consistently fielding one of the top teams in the Atlantic 10 and the nation. She has registered a 432-277-1 record with the Rams, earning her the most wins and best winning percentage (.608) in program history. Baxter-Orchard has led the Rams to three NCAA tournament appearances in the past four seasons and has won four A-10 Coach of the Year awards.

 

 

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