NATIONAL HONOR . . . Stanford junior Ashley Hansen was the only high school player invited to the U.S. Olympic tryouts, along with a handful of former Stanford softball players. The story goes how Cardinal coach John Rittman prodded a few of his former players to gauge Hansen's interest in attending Stanford. It turned out Stanford had been her dream school for a long time and she was thrilled to know the school was interested in her. It's turned into a pretty good match. Hansen was named USA Softball's Collegiate Player of the Year, the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA) announced Tuesday.
Hansen becomes the first Cardinal to earn the honor and just the second non-pitcher in the 10-year history of the award. "This is huge for Stanford and our program to have someone recognized as National Player of the Year," Rittman said. "I am so proud of Ashley and all her accomplishments. She is such a team player and very deserving of this honor." Hansen collected career offensive numbers as a junior this season. She leads the nation in doubles per game (0.45), while ranking third in batting average (.495) and tied for ninth in on-base percentage (.558). The 2011 Pac-10 Player of the Year, Hansen leads the conference in batting average, on-base percentage, hits (95) and doubles (25). Hansen picked up another honor on Wednesday when she was named a First Team Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-American by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. For Hansen, it's her second career All-America honors. The selection brings Stanford's total All-America award count to 29 honors spread over 14 players. The Cardinal has had at least one All-America selection each of the past 14 seasons. Hansen was one of the 12 All-Americans from the Pac-10 Conference, and one of seven selected to the first team.
COACHING CORNER . . . Palo Alto Knights Youth Football is seeking experienced head and assistant football coaches for the 2011 season. Contact: Mike Piha 269-6100 or email@example.com. . . . Sacred Heart Prep is seeking frosh-soph and freshman football coaches as well as a girls' junior varsity volleyball coach for next season. All interested applicants should contact SHP Athletic Director Frank Rodriguez via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (650) 473-4031 . . . Menlo-Atherton High School is looking for an assistant volleyball coach. Anyone interested should contact Mary Podesta at email@example.com.