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Yankees, Cubs Hire Former College Softball Players

(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Both the New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs have hired former NCAA Division I softball players to work within their respective minor-league systems, multiple sources have confirmed.

On Friday, the New York Times first reported that the Yankees had hired Rachel Balkovec to serve as a full-time minor league hitting coach within their organization. It was also announced on Friday that the Cubs had hired Rachel Folden as their lead minor league hitting lab tech for the organization's rookie-level team.

Balkovec, who played college softball at both Creighton and New Mexico, is believed to be the first full-time female hitting coach in MLB history. The 32-year-old previously worked in the St. Louis Cardinals' and Houston Astros' organizations in strength and conditioning roles. She will reportedly work with Yankees hitters in Tampa and the Dominican Republic.

Folden, who is also 32 years old, played college softball at Marshall and also competed professionally with the NPF's Chicago Bandits for five seasons. She is the founder of Folden Fastpitch, which offers baseball and softball instruction with a data-driven focus. Folden will serve as the fourth hitting coach for the Cubs in Rookie League Mesa.

The news about both Balkovec and Folden comes after it was announced last week that former Harvard softball player Eve Rosenbaum had been named the director of baseball development for the Baltimore Orioles.

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