WALNUT CREEK, Calif. – In return for its historic conference run, the No. 3 University of Oregon softball team (46-9, 19-5) landed a record number of All-Pac-12 honors announced Wednesday.
Senior right-hander Jessica Moore picked up Oregon’s second-ever Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year honor after she logged wins vs. seven of the eight league rivals and nine top-25 opponents overall.
The Sutter, Calif., native was joined by five other Ducks who earned their first All-Pac-12 First Team laurels - senior second baseman Kaylan Howard, junior shortstop Courtney Ceo and catcher Alexa Peterson, sophomore center fielder Janie Takeda and freshman pitcher Cheridan Hawkins.
On the All-Pac-12 Second Team, senior right fielder Samantha Pappas added her third career all-league selection, and three others were tabbed honorable mentions – junior first baseman Kailee Cuico and freshman utility player Koral Costa and catcher Janelle Lindvall.
Among other honors, Costa, Hawkins and Lindvall were tabbed to the All-Pac-12 Freshman Team, and utility player Danica Mercado was chosen as an honorable mention.
After guiding UO to its first-ever conference title, fourth-year head coach Mike White claimed the Ducks’ second-ever Pac-12 Coach of the Year honor.
Other top 2013 Pac-12 season awards went to Arizona State catcher Amber Freeman (Player of the Year), Washington catcher Shawna Wright (Defensive Player) and Stanford utility player Kayla Bonstrom (Freshman of the Year).
Moore won her third straight first-team nod and was a second-team choice as a frosh, while Pappas was a first-team pick last year and in 2010 when she was the Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year.
Howard was a second-team choice last spring, and other recent honorable mention nods went to senior left fielder Allie Burger (2010), Ceo (2011, ’12), Cuico (’12), Pappas (’11) and Peterson (’12).
In this week’s Pac-12 pitching rankings, Moore ranked second in ERA (1.59) and wins (25), and stood fifth in opposing batting (.211) and innings (171.2), and sixth in strikeouts (163) and appearances (36).
Likweise, Hawkins was easy to spot atop the categories for opposing batting average (.130) and saves (6), and stood third in ERA (1.68).
The Salem, Ore., native Peterson also won this season’s Pac-12 Batting Champion Award (.471), and stood top 10 in slugging (second, .866) and total bases (ninth, 103).
Takeda added top honors this week in hits (84) and stolen bases (27) and ranked top 10 in batting (second, .457), runs (fifth, 49), on-base percentage (sixth, .479) and total bases (seventh, 112)
Three other Ducks stood top 10 this week in Pac-12 offensive categories - Ceo (stolen bases, second, 20; sacrifice bunts, third, 10; hits, fourth, 65; batting, fourth, .394; runs, fourth, 50), Howard (doubles, second, 13; runs, sixth, 48; slugging, 10th, .654) and Cuico (homers, ninth, 14).
All-time, UO has racked up 26 first-team honors and 39 second-team selections in the annual award selected by Pac-12 head coaches. Only once before has a Duck team earned as many honors when UO claimed seven, first- and second-team laurels in 1989 in the then-six-team conference.
Since Oregon’s initial All-Pac-12 honor in 1988, Moore became the first Duck hurler to earn three all-league honors, and only two others have claimed single honors - Ani Nyhus (2004) and fellow Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year Katie Wiese (1989).
This week, No. 3 UO (46-9, 19-5) looks ahead to its 15th NCAA tournament appearance and hosts NCAA Regional games at Howe Field in Eugene for the second straight season.
Tabbed as the #3 seed overall in the 64-team field, the Ducks first face BYU (33-23, PCSC 19-5) on Thursday, May 16 at 6 p.m. in the three-day, double-elimination event.
Just before, Big Ten Tournament champion and No. 25 Wisconsin (42-11, 16-7) and North Carolina (39-19, 13-8) open action with a 3 p.m. game Thursday.
Action then continues with three games on Friday at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., and the final set for Saturday at noon (and an if-necessary game immediately after at 3 p.m.).