Neill, Hansen Headline 2009 Pac-10 Softball Honorees
May 13, 2009
Stanford, Calif. - Junior catcher Rosey Neill and rookie shortstop Ashley Hansen headlined Stanford's All-Pac-10 honorees today, when the conference announced its postseason awards. Stanford had eight players honored, with Neill repeating as Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year and Hansen becoming the program's first Pac-10 Freshman of the Year since Jessica Mendoza won the award a decade ago.
Stanford had three players - Hansen, junior outfielder Alissa Haber and senior pitcher Missy Penna - named to the league's first team. Junior third baseman Shannon Koplitz earned second-team honors, while Neill and senior second baseman Maddy Coon received honorable mention. Hansen joined classmates Sarah Hassman and Maya Burns on the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team.
Hansen continued to follow in Mendoza's footsteps, joining the two-time Olympian as the only Pac-10 Newcomers of the Year in program history. Mendoza won the award exactly a decade ago (1999), when she hit .415 with 13 doubles, two triples, and nine home runs. Hansen is hitting .397 with 19 doubles, five triples and four home runs and, while leading the team in at bats, has struck out the fewest times of any starter. Hansen is just the third player in program history to be named to the All-Pac-10 First Team as a freshman, joining Mendoza (1999) and Michelle Smith (2005).
Neill followed in the footsteps of Stanford's other Olympian, Lauren Lappin, by earning back-to-back Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year honors. Stanford's catcher has accumulated 421 putouts, gunned down seven runners stealing and made just two errors in 442 chances. Stanford has now collected four of the five Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year awards since the conference began handing them out in 2005.
Stanford's home run leader for the second year in a row, Neill also received all-conference honorable mention - her second career All-Pac-10 award (1st TM in '08).
Seniors Penna and Coon wrapped up their careers as four-time All-Pac-10 selections, the 12th and 13th in school history. Penna snagged a spot on the first team for the second year in a row, after earning second-team honors as a sophomore in 2007 and honorable mention as a freshman in 2006. The senior ranks among the top 10 pitchers in the nation with 17 shutouts, 31 wins and 323 K's and matched the previous conference record with five Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week awards this year. She owns a 1.45 ERA, third in the conference, and became the first active pitcher in the nation to reach 1,200 career K's two weeks ago.
Coon, who is hitting .303 with 29 RBI, 14 extra-base hits and a team-high 34 walks, received honorable mention for the second time in her career. She earned second-team honors in 2006 and 2008.
Haber repeated as a first-team honoree, joining Penna and five of the best players in program history (Mendoza, Lappin, Catalina Morris, Dana Sorensen and Sarah Beeson) as the school's only players to earn multiple first-team honors during their careers. For the third year in a row, Haber leads Stanford in nearly every offensive category - batting average (.439), hits (79), doubles (21), runs (54), slugging percentage (.722), on-base percentage (.500) and stolen bases (18). Her career-best batting average ranks third in the Pac-10 and among the top-15 nationally. The honor is the third overall for Haber, who was also named to the second team as a rookie in 2007.
Koplitz, who is having the best season of her career with a .309 average, eight home runs and 44 RBI, earned her second career Pac-10 honor. As a freshman utility player in 2007, she garnered honorable mention.
Along with Hansen, Burns (.248, 18 RBI) and Hassman (.254, 15 SB) were selected to the 14-player all-rookie team in the second year of its existence.
Arizona State's Kaitlin Cochran earned her third consecutive Pac-10 Player of the Year award, while Washington's Danielle Lawrie was named Pitcher of the Year. UCLA's Kelly Inouye-Perez received Coach of the Year honors.
Stanford, the No. 8 national seed, opens the NCAA Tournament on Friday night against Portland State at 6 p.m. at Smith Family Stadium, with play continuing Saturday and Sunday.