May 19, 2011
Compete All-Region Teams
STANFORD, Calif. - The awards continued to pour in today for the Cardinal, as four Stanford softball players earned Louisville Slugger First Team All-West Region honors as announced by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. Juniors Ashley Hansen and Sarah Hassman and sophomores Teagan Gerhart and Jenna Rich tie for the most first-team selections in program history.
All four players, which make up a third of the First Team, are now in contention to be 2011 Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-Americans. Stanford has had at least one All-American every season since 1998, when Michele Acosta, Becky Blevins and Marcy Crouch became the first All-Americans in school history. Last season, senior Alissa Haber joined Jessica Mendoza as the only four-time All-Americans in Stanford history.
Hansen earns her third consecutive all-region honors after being selected as a first team member as a freshman in 2009 and a second team member a year ago. Gerhart has been named to the all-region team for the second straight year as she was a second-team pick as a rookie. Hassman and Rich are being recognized for the first times in their careers.
With Hansen's third straight selection, she becomes one of eight players in school history to earn three all-region awards during their careers (others are Sarah Beeson, Alissa Haber, Lauren Lappin, Jessica Mendoza, Catalina Morris, Missy Penna and Dana Sorenson).
Gerhart claimed the pitcher/utility spot on the First Team. She holds a 1.78 ERA and ranks third in the conference with 226 strikeouts. The Norco, Calif., native is 22-11 on the year and has tallied 25 complete games with two shutouts and three saves on the year. Offensively, she has posted 25 hits, including four home runs, and 22 stolen bases. Just a sophomore, Gerhart already ranks among the top-10 in school history in wins (44), strikeouts (399), shutouts (13 and innings pitched (411.0).
Hansen, the 2011 Pac-10 Player of the Year, leads the Pac-10 and the nation in batting average (.506), while also topping the conference in hits (88), doubles (24), slugging percentage (.833) and on-base percentage (.568). In 174 at-bats, Hansen has only stuck out four times this season, making her the second toughest player in the nation to strike out. The Chandler, Ariz., native garnered her third straight All-Pac-10 First Team accolades on Wednesday. The shortstop ranks in the top-10 in school history in career batting average (.414), hits (231), doubles (66), triples (10), RBI (137), slugging percentage (.655) and runs scored (136). Her .506 batting average and .833 slugging percentage would both set new single season Stanford records.
Hassman was one of three outfielders selected to the First Team. She has been a consistent offensive threat as Stanford's lead-off hitter this season. The Cupertino, Calif., native ranks in the top-10 in the Pac-10 in batting average (.410), on-base percentage (.515), runs scored (59), hits (68) and stolen bases (34). They are all single season highs for the junior, who earned her first all-conference honors on Wednesday. Hassman's 34 stolen bases sets a new single season Stanford record and she is just 11 thefts away from the career mark.
Rich nabbed the First Team second baseman spot on this year's list. She has been a power hitter in the Cardinal lineup this season. The sophomore is hitting .317 and leads the team with 10 home runs and 45 RBI. The El Segundo, Calif., native has tallied 22 career home runs, ranking 10th-best in program history. She was selected to the All-Pac-10 Second Team on Wednesday for her second career all-conference recognition.
Joining the Cardinal on the First Team from the Pac-10 Conference are Arizona State catcher Kaylyn Castillo, Arizona third baseman Brigette Del Ponte, Arizona State pitcher Dallas Escobedo, Arizona pitcher Kenzie Fowler, UCLA utility player Andrea Harrison, Arizona outfielder Brittany Lastrapes and Arizona outfielder Lauren Schutzler.
Stanford opens the 2011 NCAA Tournament on Friday night at home versus Pacific. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Smith Family Stadium, with play continuing Saturday and Sunday.