June 12, 2012
SEASON IN REVIEW: Stanford finished the 2012 season with a 40-19 overall record, marking the 13th 40-win season for head coach John Rittman. In its 16th consecutive winning season, the Cardinal was 29-6 overall outside of the Pac-12 and 11-13 in the conference. Stanford was 19-6 at Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium and 16-1 at a neutral site. The 2012 Stanford squad set multiple team and individual records and finished the year ranked No. 20/21.
POSTSEASON CHATTER: The Cardinal participated in the NCAA Tournament for the 15th consecutive year, dating back to 1998 when the team made its first postseason appearance in head coach John Rittman's second season. Stanford has won seven regional titles and made appearances in the Women's College World Series in 2001 and 2004. Stanford has reached the super regional series five of the last eight years.
LAFAYETTE REGIONAL: Stanford was 2-2 in the Lafayette Regional, reching the final game against the host Ragin' Cajuns. The Cardinal is now 39-34 (.534) all-time in NCAA postseason games.
STANFORD VS. THE FIELD: The Cardinal was 18-15 against the 2012 NCAA Tournament field with a 9-1 record at a neutral site.
ALL-AMERICAN: Junior Jenna Rich became the 15th player in Stanford history to earn NFCA/Louisville Slugger All-America honors. A third team selection, Rich brings the Cardinal's total All-America award count to 30. Stanford has had at least one All-American selection in each of the past 15 seasons.
ALL-WEST REGION: Four Cardinal players were selected to the NFCA All-West Region. Junior Jenna Rich was a first team honoree for the second consecutive year, while Teagan Gerhart, Leah White and Hanna Winter were second team picks.
ANOTHER FIRST: Last season, Ashley Hansen became the first player in Stanford history to earn USA Softball's top honor - Collegiate Player of the Year. This season, Hansen secured another first in Cardinal history, becoming the first player to be named Pac-12 Newcomer (2009), Player (2011) and Defensive Player of the Year (2012). The Chandler, Ariz., native is the third Stanford player to earn the defensive honor, joining Lauren Lappin (2005 & 2006) and Rosey Neill (2008, 2009 & 2010).
ALL-CONFERENCE: Seven Stanford players earned Pac-12 All-Conference honors this season. Senior Ashley Hansen, junior Jenna Rich and rookie Hanna Winter were first team picks, while freshman Leah White earned second team honors. Seniors Jenna Becerra and Maya Burns, and junior Teagan Gerhart picked up honorable mention accolades. Hansen was the only player in the conference to earn her fourth career first team honors.
ALL-FRESHMEN TEAM: Half of the Cardinal's eight freshmen earned All-Freshmen team honors from the Pac-12. Leah White and Hanna Winter were members of the 14-player team, while Cassandra Roulund and Nyree White were honorable mention honorees.
All-ACADEMIC: Stanford had eight players earn All-Academic honors from the Pac-12 this season. Senior Jenna Becerra led the way with her second straight first team selection. Seniors Maya Burns and Sarah Hassman were second team picks, while senior Ashley Hansen, junior Jenna Rich, redshirt sophomore Tegan Schmidt, sophomore Corey Hanewich and sophomore Danielle Miller earned honorable mention.
Ashley Hansen FILE: Senior Ashley Hansen, a two-time All-American and the 2011 collegiate player of the year, was one of 25 players selected to USA Softball's player of the year watch list. She solidified her place in Cardinal history throughout her career, ranking in the top-10 in program history in career average (.402), hits (301), doubles (81), triples (18), RBI (179), slugging percentage (.643) and runs scored (192).
Jenna Rich FILE: Junior Jenna Rich hit a career high .368 on the season and led the Cardinal with 66 RBI, 11 home runs and a .665 slugging percentage, while ranking second in doubles (13) and triples (4). Her 66 RBI led the Pac-12 and tied Sarah Beeson for first on the school's single season list.
LAST CHANCE: Senior Jenna Becerra made the most of her final season on The Farm. She is hit a career-best .331 on the season and surpassed her single season bests in hits (52), doubles (14), home runs (6), RBI (37) and runs scored (27). She also had two triples on the year, the firsts of her career. Against Oregon State, Becerra became the first Cardinal player to hit grand slams in consecutive games.
DEFENSIVELY SPEAKING: Senior catcher/utility Maya Burns ends her time at Stanford as one of the best defenders in Cardinal history. She led the team this season with a .996 fielding percentage and finishes her career ranked third overall with a .990 clip. She also recorded the 10th-most putouts in school history with 564.
GERHART IN THE CIRCLE: Junior Teagan Gerhart reached the 20-win plateau in each of her first three seasons on The Farm and is third all-time in program history. She is 80-32 overall with a 2.14 career ERA. With 628 strikeouts to her name, she ranks third all-time in school history. She is fourth in shutouts with 23.
PAC-12 WRAP-UP: With an 11-13 record, Stanford finished in sixth place in the notoriously tough Pac-12 Conference. California, the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, claimed the conference crown with a 21-3 record. Arizona State (18-4) finished second, while Oregon came in third with a 13-9 mark. Stanford was just one game out of fourth place, where Arizona and UCLA tied with identical 12-12 records. Eight Pac-12 teams were awarded bids to this year's postseason with six of the eight receiving one of the top 16 seeds.
TOPS IN THE CONFERENCE: Rookies Hanna Winter and Leah White, Stanford's lead-off and No. 2 hitter, quickly made a name for themselves in the Pac-12. Winter led all conference players with 89 hits and finished second with a .428 batting average. Her 89 hits were the third-most in a single season and the most by a Cardinal rookie. White led the Pac-12 with 12 sacrifice bunts and tied for fourth with 54 runs scored.
STATISTICAL LEADER: Junior pitcher Teagan Gerhart ranked ninth in the country in victories this season with 32, the fourth-most in a single season at Stanford. She finished third in the Pac-12 in wins and innings pitched (261.2), while ranking sixth in strikeouts (205).
OFFENSIVE FIREPOWER: This year's Stanford team was one of the best, if not the best, offensive teams in school history. The 2012 Cardinal set single season records for batting average (.318), hits (502), triples (20), RBI (298) and runs scored (337). This year's squad also ranked in the top-10 in doubles (79), slugging percentage (.454), walks (162) and stolen bases (49).
RECORD SETTER: Senior Ashley Hansen will go down as one of the greatest players to ever don the Cardinal uniform. This season she set new Stanford career records for doubles (81) and triples (18). Her eight triples this year were also a Stanford single season record.
19 IN A ROW: Stanford's longest winning streak of the season was 19 games, which ran from Feb. 18 to March 11. During that span, the Cardinal outscored its opponents 129-28, posted 10 shutouts and earned five run-rule victories.
ROOKIE DEBUTS: All eight freshmen on the Cardinal roster made their debuts in the season opener against Cal State Northridge. Rookies Leah White and Hanna Winter were mainstays in the Cardinal lineup this season and led the team offensively. Pitcher Nyree White was a solid second option in the circle. She made 33 appearances and posted a 3.88 ERA with 69 strikeouts in 113.2 innings pitched.
LOWE'S SENIOR CLASS AWARD: Senior Ashley Hansen was one of the 10 finalists for the 2012 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. She was one of four representatives from the Pac-12 Conference. The finalists were chosen from a list of 30 candidates based on personal qualities that define a complete student-athlete - classroom, community, character and competition.
PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Junior pitcher Teagan Gerhart nabbed Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week and USA Softball National Player of the Week on Feb. 28 for her performance at the Cathedral City Classic in Cathedral City, Calif. She registered five wins in the circle to lead the Cardinal to an undefeated weekend. She posted a 0.22 ERA, allowing just one run in 31.2 innings pitched. She tallied 30 strikeouts, including the 500th of her career, and issued just four walks and 12 hits. Gerhart was also named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week on May 7 after going 3-0 with two shutouts against then-No. 14 Washington.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Freshman outfielder Cassandra Roulund secured Stanford's only Pac-12 Player of the Week honors on May 7. She hit .600, scored six runs and tallied eight RBI during a four-game stretch. She tallied a season-high five RBI against Santa Clara (5/1).
IN THE POLLS: Stanford remained ranked in both major polls throughout the entire 2012 season. The Cardinal, which has appeared in every regular-season poll for more than a decade, finishes the season ranked No. 21 in the USA Today/NFCA poll and No. 20 the ESPN.com/USA Softball top 25. Seven of the nine Pac-12 schools appeared in the top-25 of both polls.
SOLID VETERANS: With seven upperclassmen on a roster of 21, the Cardinal was still a fairly young squad. However, the team's veterans continued their production and success at several key positions. The seniors, Jenna Becerra, Maya Burns, Ashley Hansen and Sarah Hassman, had been to two super regionals and were a part of the 2009 squad which posted the best winning percentage in school history (.814). Along with the juniors, Kelsey Gerhart, Teagan Gerhart and Jenna Rich, the upperclassmen had combined to produce 477 runs, 692 hits and 381 RBI and 424 strikeouts entering the 2012 season. Led by Hansen, the group contained a conference and national player of the year, two All-America honors, six all-conference accolades and seven all-region selections.
PRESEASON PICKS: Stanford was picked to finish fifth in the Pac-12 this season in the annual poll of the league's coaches. 2011 National Champion Arizona State garnered six first-place votes to sit at the top of the poll. California earned two first-place votes and came in second, while Arizona snagged the final first-place vote for third. UCLA was picked just ahead of the Cardinal at fourth. Washington, Oregon, Oregon State and conference newcomer Utah rounded out the poll.
TEAM USA TIES: Head coach John Rittman was a member of the United States National Team coaching staff from 2001-08. In 2010, four players with ties to the Cardinal program helped the U.S. capture the World Championship in Venezuela. Competing for the red, white and blue were Stanford alums Alissa Haber, Lauren Lappin and Jessica Mendoza, and current Cardinal infielder Ashley Hansen. The alums were also a part of the United States' World Cup title in Oklahoma City.
HEAD COACH John Rittman: In his 16th season at the helm of the Cardinal program, head coach John Rittman remains one of the winningest coaches in collegiate softball, boasting a 681-313-3 (.685) career record. Since stepping onto the Farm in July 1996, he has coached the team to 15 consecutive winning seasons, 15 straight NCAA Tournament appearances and 13 40-win seasons. Under Rittman, Stanford has claimed a share of its first conference championship and made two appearances in the Women's College World Series (2001 & 2004).