Stanford Places Four On All-West Region Team

May 14, 2009

Stanford, Calif. - The awards continued to pour in today for the Cardinal, as four Stanford softball players earned All-West Region honors as announced by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. Senior pitcher Missy Penna and junior outfielder Alissa Haber were honored for the third year in a row, while junior third baseman Shannon Koplitz and freshman shortstop Ashley Hansen collected the first all-region recognition of their careers.

All four players are now in contention to be 2009 All-Americans. Stanford has had at least one All-American every year since 1998, when Michele Acosta, Becky Blevins and Marcy Crouch became the first All-Americans in school history. Last season, Haber became Stanford's sixth player to earn multiple All-America honors, while Penna earned the first All-America award of her career.

Penna garners her third straight all-region award this season, and joins Haber as one of seven players in school history to earn three or more all-region awards during their careers (others are Jessica Mendoza, Catalina Morris, Lauren Lappin, Sarah Beeson and Dana Sorensen).

Penna 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. She has twice swept the NFCA and USA Softball National Player of the Week awards and broken nearly every pitching record in the Stanford books. Last week, she became the first player in school history to be a top-10 finalist for USA Softball's National Player of the Year award.

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, while her 21 doubles rank third in the country. She is looking to match Mendoza this season as the only players in school history to post a .400 or better season.

Hansen became the ninth Stanford freshman to earn an all-region award, snagging one of the two spots at shortstop. The rookie is hitting .397 with 19 doubles, five triples and four home runs and paces the squad with 48 RBI. Her 19 doubles are the most of any freshman in school history, rank second only to Haber in the Pac-10 and put her among the nation's top 10 double-hitters. Recently named the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, she was also the only rookie among the 25 national player of the year finalists.

Koplitz, who is having the best season of her career with a .309 average, eight home runs and 44 RBI, earned her first career all-region award. Batting in the three hole for the Cardinal, she has consistently ranked among the Pac-10 leaders in both RBI and triples (4).

Stanford, the No. 8 national seed, opens the NCAA Tournament tomorrow night against Portland State at 6 p.m. at Smith Family Stadium, with play continuing Saturday and Sunday.

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