Ron Ferrill’s Bulldogs are on the upswing

The Truman State University softball team is back in the saddle again. Following a rough February that saw the team go 7-9, the Bulldogs have won six of their last eight games, including series sweeps of Upper Iowa University and University of Illinois Springfield.
Head coach Ron Ferrill is only in his second season with the team, but his history of success breathes new life into the season. Ferrill coached at St. Ambrose University in Iowa for 12 seasons, where he piled up over 300 wins and had only one losing season. Despite the success, Ferrill was looking for something new.
“I just felt like I had gotten a little complacent being at St. Ambrose [for] so long. You just kind of settle into [a] rhythm and [keep] doing the same thing all the time… it seemed like a good challenge at the time and when I left from the interview process, I felt rejuvenated as a coach.”
Ferrill took over in August of 2022, and, while the team is crawling back into contention this season, last year had a different look for the team.
“Last year I didn’t get to do any recruiting. I came in and took over three days into the season and didn’t know too much [about] where our weaknesses and strengths were. We did have a great group of seniors… last year” Ferrill said.
“Part of coming in new is then having to start recruiting and also part of being seniors is [that] you lose those groups.”
The team struggled last season, finishing with a 17-37 record and 11th place out of 14 teams. However, the team is in a prime position this season to land a spot in the GLVC tournament in early May.
To reach that promised land would be a dream come true for Breianna Klein, a graduate student pitcher and infielder. Klein has been with the team since 2020 and has a career batting average of .289. Also a pitcher, in her last outing against Quincy University, she tossed two scoreless innings and collected a save. Despite her successes, Klein has seen darker days with the ballclub.
“I never thought I’d see the day where I won more than 10 games in [a season] in my college career,” Klein said.
However, the drastic turnaround has Klein crediting Coach Ferrill. Speaking on what has changed under Ferrill, Klein cites “the hustle” and “a competitive mindset” as two keys to this revamped group.
“Whether it’s lifting or running in practice, that kind of stuff, [Ferrill] is definitely one to be the more aggressive type [of] coach; where we didn’t have that before,” Klein said. “This year especially, just being a senior and leaving, I want to end on a high note. I want to end on the highest note we possibly can. Even just playing a game in [the GLVC tournament], whether we are the champion or not, will just be a huge step.”
Ferrill and Klein have the team in a good position to fight for a spot in the postseason, and they will continue their fight for a place at the table through the month of April.