CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia softball head coach Joanna Hardin announced the addition of Bella Norton to the staff as a volunteer assistant coach on Friday (Sept. 16).

“We are thrilled to have Bella on our staff,” Hardin said. “Her passion is evident from the first moment you meet her and she will add so much value to our program. I also think it’s pretty special that she is originally from the Commonwealth – she has the opportunity to build the flagship University of her home state.

“Bella has such a bright future in coaching and I am extremely confident that her deep desire to learn and grow will put her at the top of the coaching world in the near future.”

Norton, a native of McLean, Va., joins the Cavaliers after a five-year career at Indiana (2017-2021) where she primarily played as catcher and designated player. She capped her playing career with NFCA All-Region third team honors in 2021 after leading the Hoosiers with a .341 batting average for the year. For her career, she finished with 80 RBI, 11 home runs and 32 runs scored. She caught 34 runners stealing and fielded at a .987 clip for her career.

A four-time Academic All-Big 10 selection, Norton made 196 starts through 209 games played for Indiana.

Prior to Indiana, Norton was a standout at McLean High School where she helped lead her team to a 2013 AAA Liberty Regional Semi-final appearance, a 2014 Regional Championship, a 2015 Regional Championship Runner-Up finish and a 2016 AAA All Liberty District championship. She capped her time at McLean with an impressive senior season that saw her hit at a .571 clip and earn multiple honors that included 2016 PGF North East All-American Catcher recognition, All-Conference Player of the Year, All-Region Player of the Year, All-Region Catcher of the Year, All-Metropolitan Catcher of the Year, and All-State Catcher of the Year.

Norton also has youth coaching experience, having coached with Glory Fastpitch and also has run her own coaching business for the past year before joining the Hoos. Norton has been a catching instructor for four years and has also worked at MLB camps previously.