#2 Oregon Softball 2015 Preview

Oregon Ducks

Overall Rank: #2
Conference Rank: #1 Pac-12
#2 Oregon Softball 2015 Preview
Oregon Team Page


One could argue that the 2014 season was the best one in Oregon history. The team won back-to-back Pac-12 titles, advanced to the Final Four of the WCWS, had three All-Americans, rose to the top spot in both of the major polls and was approved for a new stadium set to be built for the 2016 season. The team might even be better this season, with a solid mix of upperclassmen and underclassmen on the 21-woman roster. Oregon set single-season records for runs scored (445), hits (604), triples (20), RBIs (394) and batting average (.342).

2014: 56-9-1, 20-3-1
2014 Postseason: WCWS
Coach: Mike White

Field Players:
The Ducks bring back five positional starters, each of whom was amongst the top seven in hitting last season. The top offensive returnee is Janie Takeda, who is looking to become the program's first three-time All American. Takeda hit .388, with 14 doubles, eight triples and 40 RBI. The doubles and triples numbers were tops on the team and the eight triples were the best in Oregon program history. Janelle Lindvall is back for her junior season after knocking out 11 doubles, 13 home runs and 52 RBI. The home run total was tied for tops on the team. Koral Costa had seven doubles and nine home runs, while Nikki Udria drove in 40 in her freshman campaign.

It's always easy on an offense when you have a good pitching staff. When you have a great pitching staff that has a combined 1.82 ERA, it makes it really easy. That's what Oregon had last year in Cheridan Hawkins, Karissa Hovinga and Jasmine Smithson-Willett. Hawkins went 35-6 with a 1.66 ERA and 330 strikeouts, Hovinga was 17-2 with a 1.80 ERA and Smithson-Willett 4-1 with a 2.88 ERA. Hawkins was a First Team All-American and Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year, who ranked in the top ten nationally with 35 wins, 330 strikeouts, 12 shutouts and 4.13 hits allowed per seven innings.

Who to Watch:
As if the Ducks needed any extra bats, the team got two huge transfers in Haley Decker from Nebraska and Geri Ann Glasco from Georgia. Decker was a First Team All-Big Ten and First Team All-Midwest Region Team member last season after hitting .369 with 51 runs, 80 hits, 21 doubles, 14 home runs and 53 RBI. A year after being named SEC Co-Freshman of the Year and making numerous All-American teams, Glasco had an amazing 53 walks as a sophomore at Georgia last season. She did finish with 10 home runs, five doubles and 42 RBI. Oh yeah...she also went 16-5 with a 2.53 ERA in 143.2 innings.

Final Projection:
The rich get richer. The Ducks are going to be one of the, if not the, top teams in the country and are only bolstered by the arrival of Glasco and Decker. And that's not to mention that the team brings in three freshmen ranked in the top 68 incoming freshmen by StudentSports, including their number one overall recruit, Jenna Lilley. The junior class on this team is scary, as it includes Decker, Hawkins, Costa, Janelle Lindvall, Alyssa Gillespie, Glasco and Smithson-Willett. In addition to the already tough Pac-12 schedule, Oregon has Texas, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Baylor (2x), Tulsa, Florida (2x) and a three-game set with Louisiana-Lafayette in late April in the nonconference portion of the schedule. Starting March 27th, the Ducks face Washington, UCLA (away) and Arizona State in three consecutive weekends that could decide the Pac-12.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Janie Takeda, OF, 209
Hits: Janie Takeda, OF, 81
Home Runs: Janelle Lindvall, C, 13
RBIs: Janelle Lindvall, C, 52
Runs: Janelle Takeda, OF, 56
Stolen Bases: Janie Takeda, OF, 20

Wins: Haylie Wagner, P, 24
Innings Pitched: Haylie Wagner, P, 172.2
Strikeouts: Megan Betsa, P, 150
Complete Games: Haylie Wagner, P, 16

Madness 2015 NPF Draft Rankings:
#9 Janie Takeda

Madness 2015 Softball Recruit Rankings:
#2 Jenna Lilley
#17 Gwen Svekis


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