2012 WAC Softball Wrap-Up
Delaney Willard of Brigham Young and Stephanie Ricketts of Hawai’i were named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-America teams. Willard was named to the first team, while Ricketts was a second team selection.
Willard, a Camarillo, Calif., native, was selected with an at-large pick as an outfielder after being named WAC Player of the Year. She was also a first team All-Pacific Region pick and was named to the all-WAC first team. She was the only player in the nation ranked in the top 25 in nine different national batting categories at the end of the regular season, including RBI, RBI per game, slugging percentage, hits, home runs, batting average, home runs per game, doubles and on base percentage. Her 88 RBI and 1.54 RBI per game were both second-best in the nation in addition to ranking 14th and 11th, respectively, in the NCAA single-season record books. Only one player in the nation in the last 14 years has posted a better single-season RBI per game mark than Willard’s number this season while no one in NCAA history has hit more RBI (88) in fewer games (57) in NCAA history.
Ricketts, a senior from San Jose, Calif., posted a 28-6 record this season with career-best statistics in shutouts (10), ERA (1.49), hits allowed (153), runs allowed (57), earned runs allowed (48) and opposing batting average (.191). Ricketts tossed a pair of no-hitters this season over San Jose State (March 24) and Fresno State (April 28) en route to becoming the first UH player to ever earn three WAC Pitcher of the Year awards. In conference action, she posted a 12-1 record with a 1.07 ERA with four shutouts while holding opponents to a .172 batting average with 79 strikeouts. Ricketts was named WAC Pitcher of the Week five times this season and 12 times in her career.
Fifty-four student-athletes from 33 different institutions representing 13 conferences have earned the honor of being named to one of the three 2012 Division I All-America teams.
FIVE WAC PLAYERS NAMED EASTON ALL-AMERICANS
Five WAC softball players have earned Easton All-America honors. Stephanie Ricketts of Hawai’i and Delaney Willard of Brigham Young were named to the first team, while JC Clayton of BYU, Jessica Iwata of Hawai’i and Christine Thomsen of Utah State were named to the second team.
Players selected to the Easton All-America Division I teams include 31 athletes from 17 institutions. Student-athletes selected to the Easton All-American teams are those “who have had an outstanding season in the circle, and those who have shown Easton power and prowess at the plate.”
Ricketts, a four-year starting pitcher from San Jose, Calif., posted a 28-6 record this season with career-best statistics in shutouts (10), ERA (1.49), hits allowed (153), runs allowed (57), earned runs allowed (48) and opposing batting average (.191). She helped lead UH to its fourth WAC regular-season title and its 10th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and became the first Rainbow Wahine ever to earn three WAC Pitcher of the Year awards.
Willard, a senior outfielder from Camarillo, Calif., hit .418 with 71 hits, 88 RBI and 44 runs en route to WAC Player of the Year honors. Her 88 RBI and 1.54 RBI per game were both second-best in the nation in addition to ranking 14th and 11th, respectively, in the NCAA single-season record books. She also posted an .859 slugging percentage and .505 on base percentage.
Clayton, a junior shortstop from Hollister, Calif., hit .405 and led the team with 79 hits, 53 runs and four triples. She ranked 28th nationally in triples, 40th in batting average and 44th in runs per game (.90).
Iwata, a three-year starter at shortstop from Lihu’e, Kaua’i, led UH at the plate with a .400 batting average, 60 hits and 57 RBI. Iwata also led the Rainbow Wahine with a .740 slugging percentage and a .503 on-base percentage. She was second on the UH squad with 37 runs scored, nine doubles and 14 home runs. Iwata was named to the first team all-WAC team for the third straight season.
Thomsen, a junior first baseman from Fresno, Calif., hit .418 with a .614 slugging percentage and only seven strikeouts in 158 at bats. She also posted a team-high 66 hits, 14 doubles, 97 total bases and was tied for the second-most RBI on the team with 22. She also had a .993 fielding percentage.
TONEY, RICKETTS NAMED ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICANS
Stacie Toney of Brigham Young and Stephanie Ricketts of Hawai‘i were named to the 2012 Capitol One Academic All-America® Division I softball team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Toney was a second team selection, while Ricketts was named to the third team.
Toney, an elementary education major from Farmington, Utah, has a 3.77 grade-point average. A senior second baseman, she was named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Pacific Region second team and was the WAC Tournament MVP. She batted .367 this season with 62 hits and was second on the team with 10 doubles, 44 RBI and 94 total bases.
Ricketts, a San Jose, Calif. native, with a 3.35 GPA, graduated in four years with a degree in psychology and was accepted into UH’s master’s of nursing program. The pitcher went 28-6 with a career-best .824 win percentage, 30 complete games and a career-high 10 shutouts. Ricketts leaves UH as the program’s career record holder with 102 wins, 33 shutouts, 116 complete games, 164 appearances, 938.1 innings pitched, with 818 strikeouts.
To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00 and have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution.
BRIGHAM YOUNG GOES 2-2 AT EUGENE REGIONAL
Brigham Young earned the WAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and traveled to Eugene, Ore., where it went 2-2. Shelbi Everett doubled down the left field line to drive in the winning run as the Cougars defeated Mississippi State 4-3 in nine innings in the first game. The following day, the Cougars fell behind to host Oregon, battled back but fell short, 6-4. Later in the day, Tori Almond threw a two-hitter as BYU eliminated Portland State, 2-0. The Cougars then saw their season come to an end when they fell 4-1 at Oregon in the final game. Everett, Ashlee Brawley, Jessica Dugas and Almond were named to the all-tournament team.
HAWAI‘I GOES 0-2 AT TUCSON REGIONAL
WAC regular-season champion Hawai‘i dropped both games at the Tucson Regional to close out the season. In the first game, Notre Dame plated four runs in the top of the ninth inning en route to a 7-3 win over the Rainbow Wahine. Kelly Majam hit a pair of solo homers and Leisha Li’ili’i also hit a solo home run to account for the three Hawai’i runs. In the elimination game that went back and forth and featured 22 hits, Hawai’i fell 9-7 to North Dakota State. Kayla Wartner hit a pair of homers and drove in four runs, while Sarah Robinson also hit a solo homer.
BRIGHAM YOUNG WINS FIRST-EVER WAC TOURNAMENT
The Cougars defeated Fresno State 8-3 in the championship game to earn their first-ever WAC Tournament title. BYU went 3-0 at the tournament, defeating Louisiana Tech (6-1) and No. 11 Hawai‘i (6-4) in earlier rounds. Stacie Toney was named tournament MVP after hitting .545 with a stolen base and two RBI over the three games.
Tori Almond, Brigham Young
Dacia Hale, Louisiana Tech
Jessica Iwata, Hawai‘i
Meghan Knowles, Louisiana Tech
Lauren Lastrapes, Nevada
Kelly Majam, Hawai‘i
Vonnie Martin, Fresno State
Michelle Moses, Fresno State
Amanda Pridmore, San Jose State
Stacie Toney, Brigham Young (MVP)
Delaney Willard, Brigham Young
LA TECH’S HALE TIES NCAA RECORD FOR RBI IN A SINGLE GAME
Louisiana Tech’s Dacia Hale tied the NCAA single-game record with 11 RBI in the Lady Techsters’ 17-7 win over Fresno State at the WAC Tournament. She was 3-for-4 with three home runs, including a grand slam. She also set the WAC Tournament record for most RBI in the WAC Tournament.
Brigham Young’s Delaney Willard was named WAC Player of the Year, while Hawai‘i’s Stephanie Ricketts was named Pitcher of the Year. Meanwhile, Hawai‘i’s Leisha Li‘ili‘i was named Freshman of the Year and Bob Coolen was named Coach of the Year.
Willard, a senior rightfielder from Camarillo, Calif. (Adolfo Camarillo), earned WAC Player of the Year after leading all players in WAC games with 33 RBI, 51 total bases and a .911 slugging percentage. She also ranked second in batting average (.429), home runs (7) and on-base percentage (.514), and fourth in doubles (6). Willard also broke the WAC single-season record with 88 RBI.
Ricketts, a senior righthander from San Jose, Calif. (Archbishop Mitty) earned WAC Pitcher of the Year honors for the third year in a row. In WAC play, she posted a 12-1 mark with a 1.07 ERA and four shutouts, holding opponents to a .172 batting average and tallying 79 strikeouts.
Li‘ili‘i, a designated player from Kane‘ohe, O‘ahu (Castle), had a .305 batting average in WAC play with four doubles, three home runs and 12 RBI.
Coolen earned Coach of the Year honors for the third time in his career after leading his team to its fourth WAC regular-season title and the top seed in the WAC Tournament. In WAC play, the Rainbow Wahine went 17-3.
Hawai‘i led the way with eight players on the all-WAC teams, followed by Brigham Young with five and Nevada with four. Five of the players were repeat selections from a year ago, while all eight schools were represented.
JC Clayton, Brigham Young
Jessica Dugas, Brigham Young
Makani Duhaylonsod-Kaleimamahu#, Hawai‘i
Melanie Goff, Louisiana Tech
Jessica Iwata@$, Hawai‘i
Kelly Majam&$, Hawai‘i
Michelle Moses@$, Fresno State
Sara Parsons, Nevada
Amanda Pridmore, San Jose State
Stephanie Ricketts@$#, Hawai‘i
Sarah Robinson, Hawai‘i
Christine Thomsen, Utah State
Delaney Willard, Brigham Young
Alex Aguirre&, Hawai‘i
Tori Almond, Brigham Young
Chelsea Barilli, Nevada
Michelle Cox, San Jose State
Karley Hopkins, Nevada
Shaleese Javillo, New Mexico State
Karlyn Jones, Nevada
Leisha Li‘ili‘i, Hawai‘i
Katie Manuma, Brigham Young
Vonnie Martin, Fresno State
Courtney Moore, Fresno State
Kaia Parnaby, Hawai‘i
Briana Tovio-Asato, New Mexico State
@2011 first team All-WAC
&2011 second team All-WAC
$2010 first team All-WAC
#2009 second team All-WAC
WAC FINISHES WITH FOUR TEAMS IN TOP 100 RPI
In the final NCAA RPI, four WAC schools were in the top 100, led by Hawai‘i at 23. Also ranked in the top 100 were Brigham Young (32), Fresno State (60) and San Jose State (98).
NEVADA’S JONES LEADS NATION IN WALKS ALLOWED PER GAME
In the final NCAA statistics for the 2012 season, Nevada pitcher Karlyn Jones led the nation in walks allowed per seven innings at 0.57. The sophomore had just nine walks this season compared to 89 strikeouts.
HAWAI‘I CLAIMS FOURTH WAC REGULAR-SEASON TITLE
Hawai’i captured the 2012 WAC regular-season crown with an emphatic, 18-0 five-inning win over Utah State on May 6. The Rainbow Wahine finished WAC play with a 17-3 mark to claim their fourth WAC regular-season title (2003, 2007, 2010).
FRESNO STATE’S WRIGHT TO RETIRE
After 27 years as the Fresno State head coach Margie Wright announced her retirement effective June 30, 2012. Wright, the NCAA Division I all-time winningest softball coach and second all-time winningest coach in NCAA Division I history regardless of sport, steps down after guiding the university to its first NCAA Division I team title (1998). Under her direction, the Bulldogs are the second all-time winningest softball program in Division I history.
FIVE WAC PLAYERS NAMED ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT
Five WAC softball players were voted to the Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-District teams. Hawai’i’s Kelly Majam and Stephanie Ricketts, Brigham Young’s Stacie Toney, Fresno State’s Brooke Ortiz and Louisiana Tech’s Erin Kipp were all named to the first team.
WILLARD BREAKS WAC RBI SEASON RECORD
Brigham Young’s Delaney Willard tied and then broke a 14-year-old WAC single-season RBI record. The senior drove in her 77th run of the season against Utah Valley on May 2, tying the record set by Fresno State’s Nina Lindenberg in 1998. Willard then broke the record with three RBI in the first game against Nevada on May 4. She closed out the season with 88 RBI, good for second place nationally.
JENNINGS CLOSES OUT CAREER ON FOUR WAC CAREER CHARTS
New Mexico State senior Tiare Jennings closed out her career ranked in the top 10 in four WAC career offensive categories. She ranks fourth all-time in RBI (185), fifth in home runs (48), sixth in runs scored (188) and seventh in total bases (431).
RICKETTS ENDS CAREER IN TOP 10 IN THREE WAC RECORDS
Three-time WAC Pitcher of the Year Stephanie Ricketts closed out her career ranked in the top 10 in three different WAC career pitching categories. She is second all-time in innings pitched (938.1), third in wins (102) and fifth in strikeouts (818).
MAJAM BECOMES ALL-TIME HOME RUNS LEADER AT HAWAI‘I
On March 24 in the series finale against San Jose State, Hawai‘i’s Kelly Majam went 3-for-3 with a single, a double and a home run. It was her fifth homer of the season and the 45th of her career, which broke the Hawai‘i career record of 44 previously held by former UH All-American Kate Robinson in 2008. She has 54 career rounder trippers, good for fourth all-time in WAC history.
SIX NO-HITTERS THROWN IN THE WAC IN 2012
There were six no-hitters thrown in the WAC during the 2012 season. The first was by Fresno State’s Mackenzie Oakes on Feb. 19, when she threw her third career no-hitter in an 8-0, six-inning victory over Cal State Fullerton. The next two no-hitters, on Feb. 23 against Iowa State and March 3 vs. State Joseph’s, were by the Bulldogs’ Michelle Moses. They were Moses’ second and third no-hitters of her career. In the 3-0 win over Iowa State, Moses struck out 17 batters, one off of the school record that she set herself in 2010. Hawai‘i’s Kaia Parnaby fired her second career no-no on March 14, with a career-high 14 strikeouts in a 6-0 win over Marist. Stephanie Ricketts no-hit San Jose State on March 24, with five strikeouts, then repeated the feat on April 28 against Fresno State.
HAWAI‘I WINS 40 GAMES FOR NINTH TIME IN PROGRAM HISTORY
With its three victories against Fresno State April 27-28, Hawai‘i hit the 40-win mark for the ninth time in program history. The Rainbow Wahine finished the season 44-9.
BYU WINS 40 GAMES FOR EIGHTH STRAIGHT YEAR
When it defeated Nevada 7-4 on May 5, Brigham Young won its 40th game of the season. It was the eighth straight year that the Cougars reached the 40-win plateau.
FRESNO STATE WINS 30 GAMES FOR 30TH CONSECUTIVE SEASON
When it defeated New Mexico State on April 21, Fresno State notched its 30th win of the season. It was the 31st consecutive season the Bulldogs reached the 30-win mark.
RICKETTS BECOMES HAWAI‘I CAREER SHUTOUT LEADER
Stephanie Ricketts set the Hawai‘i career shutout record on April 28 when she tossed her 33rd complete-game shutout and sixth career no-hitter vs. Fresno State. She fanned seven, faced just two batters over the minimum and did not allow a runner past second base.
EAKIN NOTCHES 400TH VICTORY
Brigham Young shut out Louisiana Tech 5-0 on April 20 to give head coach Gordon Eakin his 400th career victory. Eakin, whose 27th wedding anniversary was also the same day, is now 416-175 (.704) in his 10-year career.
BYU’S WILLARD ONE OF 25 FINALISTS FOR PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Brigham Young senior outfielder Delaney Willard was one of the Top 25 finalists for the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. This year’s Top 25 was comprised of 13 seniors, seven juniors, four sophomores and one freshman. The student-athletes selected represent 17 NCAA Division I universities and eight athletic conferences. The USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award is voted on by coaching representatives from 11 Division I Conferences in the 15 ASA Regions as well as members of the media who consistently cover Division I Softball across the country.
RICKETTS ONE OF 10 FINALISTS FOR LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD
Hawai‘i pitcher Stephanie Ricketts was one of the 10 student-athletes selected as finalists for the 2012 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as a senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. The finalists were chosen by a media committee from the original list of 30 candidates.
SAN JOSE STATE’S COX BREAKS SCHOOL HITTING STREAK RECORD
San Jose State freshman Michelle Cox broke the program’s hitting streak record when she hit in 19 consecutive games before the streak ended against Stanford on March 11. Cox broke the old record of 17 games set by Pat Martinez during the 1995 season.
HAWAI‘I SETS SCHOOL WIN STREAK RECORD
On March 10, Hawai‘i defeated Radford 4-0 to break its previous win-streak record of 18 set in 2010. The Rainbow Wahine extended the streak to 21 games before losing to No. 6 Texas on March 13.
PRIDMORE BECOMES SJSU’S CAREER SAVES LEADER
San Jose State junior Amanda Pridmore tied and then broke the San Jose State career saves record on March 9. Pridmore now has 10 saves in her three-year career, tied for second all-time in the WAC record books and one away from the record.
UH’S IWATA NAMED TO PRESEASON PLAYER OF YEAR WATCH LIST
Hawai’i shortstop Jessica Iwata was one of 50 student-athletes selected to the watch list for the 11th annual USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award.
RICKETTS SELECTED IN NPF DRAFT
Hawai’i softball pitcher Stephanie Ricketts was the 10th overall pick in the third round of the 2012 National Pro Fastpitch Senior Draft. Ricketts was selected by the defending league-champion Chicago Bandits. She is just the second Rainbow Wahine to ever be drafted by the NPF.