Softball Nearly Cracks Top-10 In Final ESPN.com/USA Softball Poll
May 29, 2003
EUGENE - The University of Oregon softball team vaulted seven spots in the final ESPN.com/USA Softball Poll, finishing its impressive 2003 season ranked No. 11 in the poll. The highest previous ranking for the Ducks during the season was 18th.
Oregon (37-19 overall, 10-11 Pacific-10 conference) finished tied for the third in the Pac-10 Conference despite being a unanimous pick to finish last. Oregon earned its first NCAA regional bid since the 2000 season and earned a No. 3 seed at the Fullerton, Calif. regional. The Ducks made an impressive run in the tournament, losing in the championship game to Louisiana-Lafayette.
The Ducks enjoyed their highest conference finish since the league expanded to eight teams in 1995 while senior Andrea Vidlund broke the season (16) and career (37) home run record en route to earning second-team all-Pac-10 honors. Vidlund also had 11 saves - tied for best in the nation.
Freshman pitcher Amy Harris (Eugene) broke the single-season freshman strikeout record with 180 strikeouts this season and senior Amber Hutchison had 19 stolen bases - the most by an Oregon player since 1999.
Vidlund and Hutchison were unanimous selections to the all-regional team, while senior Lynsey Haij and junior Anissa Meashintubby were also all-regional team selections. Vidlund also garnered third-team All-America honors as well as second-team All-Pac-10 accolades.