Stanford junior shortstop Ashley Hansen is among the three finalists for USA Softball's Collegiate Player of the Year award, announced the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA) on Wednesday. Hansen is the first player in program history to be a top-three finalist for the prestigious award.
The other two finalists are Arizona State's Katelyn Boyd and Missouri's Chelsea Thomas. The award, which is considered the top honor in collegiate softball, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by players across the country. Past winners of the award, in its 10th year, include UCLA's Stacey Nuveman, Florida State's Jessica Van der Linden, three-time winner Texas pitcher Cat Osterman, Tennessee's Monica Abbott, Virginia Tech's Angela Tincher and two-time winner Washington's Danielle Lawrie.
Hansen is putting up career offensive numbers this season. She leads the nation in doubles per game (0.45), while ranking second in batting average (.500) and eighth in on-base percentage (.562). In the Pac-10, Hansen leads all players in batting average, on-base percentage, hits (92) and doubles (25). She also has 28 multi-hit games and 10 multi-RBI games so far this season.
Just a junior, Hansen already ranks among the top-10 in school history in career hits (8th), doubles (3rd), triples (t2nd), RBI (8th) and runs scored (7th).
Hansen and the Cardinal are 41-15 overall and finished fifth in the Pac-10 with a 10-11 mark. Nationally No. 15 seed Stanford takes on No. 2 seed Alabama in the Tuscaloosa Super Regional, Thursday and Friday at Rhoads Stadium. The winner of the best-of-three series will advance to the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.
The winner of the 2011 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award will be announced on May 31 prior to the start of the World Series.
Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer announced the addition of Trina Patterson as assistant coach Wednesday.
Patterson most recently served as head coach at University at Albany, SUNY from 2002-10. She also served two prior head-coaching tenures at University of Maryland Eastern Shore (1999-2000) and the College of William & Mary (1991-99).
"We are thrilled to have Trina join our staff here at Stanford, she brings incredible experience and knowledge to the program," VanDerveer said. "We are very excited to work with someone of Trina's experience and integrity. She is an intelligent, authentic and very enthusiastic person, and we are very happy to have her on staff."
During her 17-year head coaching career, Patterson guided 18 players to America East and Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) conference honors, among those a conference rookie of the year, and members of all-conference, all-rookie, all-defensive, all-academic and all-tournament teams.
"I am grateful and humbled to have the opportunity to coach at such a prestigious university with a rich tradition in women's basketball as Stanford," Patterson said. "Tara is one of the finest coaches in the country and I could not be more excited to work with her, the players and the staff. I will embrace the culture at Stanford, which highlights a world-class education with world-class athletics. I look forward to working hard and bringing energy, knowledge and passion."
Patterson also earned four varsity letters and was a member of four consecutive NCAA Tournament teams under head coach Debbie Ryan at Virginia from 1983-87. During her four years in Charlottesville, the Cavaliers went 95-23, winning 20-plus games each season and capturing three Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season titles. As a team captain during her senior season (1986-87), Patterson helped Virginia post a 26-5 record and reach the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament.
Eleven Stanford women were honored by the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) Wednesday. Stanford landed five rowers on the CRCA All-West Region Teams while seven were named CRCA National Scholar-Athletes.
Elle Logan, Erika Roddy and coxswain Nicole Weinrich were named to the CRCA All-West Region First Team, while Anna Dawson and Grace Luczak were named to the second team.
Roddy, along with Sarah Bolmer, Susan Bryukhanov, Tiffany Dao, Claire Grover, Marielle Higgins and Michelle Vezie were honored as CRCA National Scholar-Athletes.
Stanford begins competition at the NCAA Women's Rowing Championships Friday morning at Lake Natoma in Gold River. The championships run from Friday through Sunday.
Dawson, Logan, Luczak, Roddy and Weinrich are all part of Stanford's I Eight which will attempt to win its second individual national title this weekend. The quintet came with a half-second of capturing the Pac-10 gold medal two weeks ago at the Pac-10 Championships.
For Logan it was her fourth All-West Region selection. Luczak and Roddy earned their third All-Region selections, while Dawson and Weinrich each earned their first selection.
Criteria for the CRCA scholar-athlete award include maintaining a cumulative grade-point average of 3.5 or higher for a student-athlete's career.
Stanford head coach Jason Borrelli has announced the seven freshmen who will join the Cardinal team this fall. The class has been rated No. 24 in the nation by both wrestling insider newsmagazine and theopenmat.com.
The class is comprised of Dahlton Brown (Jackson, Calif./Argonaut), Josh Lauderdale (Nine Mile Falls, Wash./Lakeside), Alex Manley (Chattanooga, Tenn./The Baylor School), Alex Paraschuk (Fort Myers, Fla./Riverdale), Evan Silver (Chevy Chase, Md./Blair Academy), Michael Sojka (Winnebago, Ill./Winnebago) and Brendan Ter Wee (Larchwood, Iowa/West Lyon).
"This class brings a long list of accolades from all across the country and I would argue that it is as good of a class as any in division one wrestling," said Borrelli. "This class adds much needed depth at many weight classes which will certainly help us build upon our program best 11th-place NCAA finish."
The seven-man class is led by Silver, the No. 25 overall recruit in 2011, and Sojka, ranked No. 5 at 215 pounds. The group has combined to win 10 state championships, as well as, two runner-up finishes and five third-place marks. Bringing home state titles were Silver (4), Sojka (2), Manley (2), Lauderdale (1) and Paraschuk (1).
"I really look forward to getting this group on campus in the fall," said Borrelli. "There is a good chance that some of them will be called upon to step right in as true freshmen and I am very confident that each could handle the challenge. We strongly believe that each has tremendous upside for the collegiate level and that their best wrestling is ahead of them."
The Cardinal is coming off arguably the best season in school history. Borrelli, who was in his third year with the program in 2010-11, led Stanford to a school-best 11th-place finish at the NCAA Championships in Philadelphia, Pa. The team posted a 9-9-1 dual record and sent four wrestlers to nationals.
Junior Nick Amuchastegui (174 pounds) became just the second Cardinal wrestler to reach the NCAA finals, while senior Zack Giesen and sophomore Ryan Mango finished sixth at 197 pounds and 125 pounds, respectively. The trio earned All-America honors, the most ever in a season for Stanford.