In this episode of “The Journey of My Mother’s Son” podcast, I sit down to talk with Rachel Folden.

Rachel Folden is a minor league Hitting Coach in professional baseball, the first female to hold such a position in her organization. Folden also launched, the most comprehensive hitting drill library available for softball players. Now players from around the world can train with Rachel Folden and her team at Folden Fastpitch. Folden Fastpitch also partners with Elite Baseball Training to provide hitting consultation for baseball and softball teams at the professional, college, high school and travel ball level. Folden and her team put on numerous camps and clinics across the country, primarily in the skills of hitting and catching.

A former professional softball player in the NPF (National Pro Fastpitch), Folden retired after the 2012 season, after 5 years in the NPF. Folden played for two professional teams, the Carolina Diamonds in 2012, and the Chicago Bandits from 2008-2012. She finished her career with 41 home runs, 122 RBI, 101 walks, and 28 doubles, which are all-time top 10 marks. She was the Rookie of the Year in 2008, a 4-time All-NPF Catcher, and the 2011 Offensive Player of the Year. She won two NPF Championships with the Bandits in 2008 and 2011.

Folden was drafted out of Marshall University in Huntington, WV. At Marshall, Folden was a 4-time NFCA Division I All-American. Folden currently holds Marshall career records in batting average (.405), hits (266), home runs (58), RBI (196), total bases (505), and walks (143).  She is also 2nd all-time at MU in runs scored (169), and doubles (63).  She is the career leader in C-USA in batting average (.405) and slugging percentage (.811).

Folden was an Assistant Coach at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, IN in 2009-2010. Prior to coaching at Valparaiso, Folden was a graduate assistant coach at Holy Names University in Oakland, CA. In her one year at HNU, Folden helped the team to a Cal-Pac championship in only its second year of existence. HNU also had the Cal-Pac Pitcher of the Year, Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and Coaching Staff of the Year during Folden’s tenure.

Folden was also the head coach at Encinal High School in Alameda, CA in 2009. She guided an Encinal team that finished fourth in the Bay Shore League with 15 wins, 9 of those coming during league play, when they had won 4 total games the year before.

Rachel Folden is originally from Azusa, CA and graduated from Diamond Bar High School in Diamond Bar, CA where she had a standout career and had her jersey retired. Folden graduated from Marshall University with a bachelor’s degree in History, and was inducted into the Marshall Athletic Hall of Fame in 2019. Folden lives with her two dogs, Hank and Jack.

Click on either of the links below to listen to the conversation.