Jessica Thorton | Assistant Coach
Thornton first joing the staff in 2016, as an assistant coach under former head coach Corey Lyon. Since, Thornton has made both an offensive and defensive impact on the program.
Thornton, for the last three seasons, coached all-star athlete Rochelle Roberts. Roberts a four-time Sun Belt All-Conference player, became a Top-25 USA/ASA Player of the Year candidate in 2016, and graduated in 2018 after breaking ULM's all-time hits record (246) and signing off as one of the most successful base runners in ULM history.
Since her arrival, Thornton has predominately instructed the base runners, coaching the Warhawks to a top 30 finish in stolen bases in all of Division I in 2018. Over the past three seasons, ULM has finished the year ranked as high as 12th (2016), with this seasons 81% stolen base success rate being the highest in Thornton's time at ULM.
Thornton, making an impact off the field, is the head of softball operations. Thornton over sees the booking of team travel, meals, distributing team apparel, organizing recruiting functions and campus visits, and supporting camp operations.
The Vancouver, Washington native played two seasons as an outfielder at Mount Hood Community College, under Jacksonville State alum, coach Meadow McWhorter. She earned NFCA All-America honors as a sophomore and Southern Region Player of the Year as a freshman. She led MHCC to a combined 69-18 record, a Southern region title, and back-to-back NWAC championships. She was named the MHCC Female Athlete of the Year in 2011 and earned a Southern Region First Team honor. Thornton also earned NWAACC all-academic honors as a sophomore.
She then transferred to Jacksonville State University where she finished her playing career as an outfielder and designated hitter under long time coach Jana McGinnis. Thornton appeared in 98 games for the Gamecocks and made 87 starts during her two-year JSU career. The Gamecocks won the 2013 Ohio Valley Championship, which gave them a berth to the 2013 NCAA regional tournament in Tuscaloosa, AL.
Personal: Born July 6. 1991 in Portland, Oregon to Chris and Shirley Guy…Has one sister, Christi…Wife to Cole Thornton, maiden name Guy. Jessica and Cole recently welcomed son, Colby earlier this summer....Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and Wellness…Master of Science in Human Performance.
Lea Wodach | Assistant Coach
Lea Wodach, who started 194 career games at Oklahoma including 162 at catcher and helped the Sooners claim four-straight Big 12 regular-season championships and back-to-back Women's College World Series National Championships 2016 and '17, has been named as an assistant coach at ULM, according to an announcement made by second-year head coach Molly Fichtner on Thursday, June 27. Wodach will work with the Warhawk pitchers and catchers and provide offensive instruction.
She spent the 2019 season working as a student assistant coach at OU under National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Famer Patty Gasso, as the Sooners finished 57-6 while advancing to the WCWS championship series against UCLA.
A four-year letterwinner from 2015-18, Wodach helped the Sooners to a combined record of 224-31 (.878), including a 66-4 ledger (.943) in Big 12 games. She served as battery mate for four-time All-America pitcher Paige Parker. Her .992 career fielding percentage ranks third in OU history.
"We're so excited to welcome Lea Wodach to Monroe," Fichtner said. "She has competed at the highest level in college softball and knows what it takes to win championships. Her knowledge and passion for this game is exactly what made her the right fit for this position. I'm looking forward to watching her develop our battery and elevate ULM softball. Lea is driven, motivated, and has an unbelievable work ethic that is going to help us reach new heights. She comes with amazing references, and I'm thrilled she will be joining us."
As a senior in 2018, she hit .258 with eight doubles, two home runs and 20 RBI while helping OU to a perfect 18-0 record in Big 12 play and its third-straight appearance in the WCWS.
Wodach missed eight games with a hand injury as a junior in 2017 but still managed to start 50 games behind the plate as the Sooners went 61-9 and won their second consecutive WCWS National Championship. The 61 wins represent the second-highest single-season total in program history.
As a sophomore in 2016, she earned second-team All-Region honors after setting career highs for batting average (.315), runs scored (32), hits (57), doubles (11), triples (2), home runs (7) and RBI (32) as OU captured its third NCAA Championship in program history.
A native of Coto de Caza, California, Wodach burst onto the scene as a freshman in 2015, hitting .297 with three doubles, five home runs and 22 RBI to go along with a .541 slugging percentage. She hit a grand slam against Central Arkansas in the NCAA Regional.
A three-time Academic All-Big 12 First-Team selection from 2016-18 with a 4.0 grade-point average, Wodach also became a two-time Easton/NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete (2017-18).
"First off, I would like to thank Athletics Director Scott McDonald and head softball coach Molly Fichtner along with the entire ULM Athletics administration for giving me this opportunity," Wodach said. "I'm excited and eager to get to Monroe and begin working with these talented student-athletes along with Molly and Jess Thornton. The entire Monroe community is incredibly supportive of this softball program, and I'm ready to jump right in and help take ULM to the next level.
"I couldn't be more honored to be on staff under Molly Fichtner. She has been nothing but incredible throughout this process, and I know she'll lead this team toward great success. I couldn't think of a better mentor for myself as I begin my coaching career."
Wodach earned a Bachelor of Science in health and exercise science from Oklahoma in May 2019.