Stanford junior shortstop Ashley Hansen leads the nation in hitting with a .506 average. She's one of 10 finalists for softball's highest honor and now she's the Pac-10 Player of the Year.
Hansen earned the honor in a vote of coaches and was announced Wednesday. The Cardinal had eight players honored, with Hansen joining two-time Olympian and four-time All-American Jessica Mendoza as the only Stanford players so honored.
Sophomore pitcher Teagan Gerhart joined Hansen on the first team. Junior centerfielder Sarah Hassman and sophomore second baseman Jenna Rich were named to the second team, while senior pitcher Ashley Chinn and freshman outfielder Corey Hanewich were honorable mention.
Hanewich and designated player Danielle Miller were named to the All-Pac-10 Freshmen Team, while rookie utility player Michelle Prong earned honorable mention.
Hansen leads the Pac-10 in batting average, hits (88), doubles (24), slugging percentage (.833) and on-base percentage (.568). In 174 at-bats, Hansen has only stuck out four times, making her the second toughest player in the nation to strike out.
Gerhart, who earned all-conference honorable mention accolades last season, is one of six underclassmen selected to the first team. She holds a 1.78 ERA and ranks third in the conference with 226 strikeouts. She is 22-11 on the year and has 25 complete games with two shutouts and three saves.
Offensively, Gerhart has 25 hits, including four home runs, and 22 stolen bases. The sophomore already ranks among the top-10 in school history in wins (44), strikeouts (399), shutouts (13) and innings pitched (411.0).
Stanford opens the NCAA tournament Friday night at home against Pacific. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Stanford resides in 20th place following the first day of action Wednesday at the NCAA championship on the Traditions golf course in Bryan, Texas.
Sally Watson shot a 1-over 73 and is tied for 23rd place.