#6 Oregon Softball Preview

Oregon Ducks

Overall Rank: #6
Conference Rank: #3 Pac-12
Oregon College Softball Top 44 Team Preview
Oregon Team Page


Coach Mike White enters his fourth season at the helm of the Oregon Ducks, having quickly reestablished the program as a true national power.  The 2012 Ducks collected the second most wins in school history (45), finished third in the Pac-12 for the second consecutive year, made their third straight trip to Super Regionals and first trip to the Women’s College World Series.  Coach White’s crew had outstanding pitching, but it was on offense that they climbed to new heights.  The Ducks were ranked nationally in scoring (13th, 5.76 runs/game), 13th in slugging (.487) and 16th in doubles per game (1.43).  Oregon posted all-time team highs in slugging (.487), RBI (335) and runs (363).  The team delivered the school’s second best ever batting average (.308) and total bases (824) and third highest hits (520), doubles (90), homers (66) and walks (207).  Coach White offered his thoughts on the upcoming 2013 season, “I am excited for the upcoming season for several reasons. We have a deeper squad this year and only lost two starters from last year to graduation. I feel as though we have the personnel to make a run at a championship this year. Of course there are a lot of variables and most importantly we have to be able to execute in big games and in tight situations. We have a very good balance of speed, power, defense and pitching. Our schedule is also very demanding with games against Florida, Oklahoma and Texas A&M the first weekend.  It’s a schedule that should challenge us from the beginning.”

2012: 45-18, 13-9
2012 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mike White, 4th Season

Field Players:
The Oregon skipper had this to say about some of his returners, “Sam Pappas is another senior who has the ability to lead this team and is gifted with size, power, speed and great instincts. Courtney Ceo will be back from her second ACL repair and is always a threat at the plate as a triple threat. She will also be counted on defensively replacing Kelsey Chambers at the shortstop position. Kailee Cuico continues to mature as a power hitter and defensively has improved immensely. Janie Takeda, our centerfielder, is also one to watch that flies under the radar. I feel she has one of the best arms in the Pac-12 and combines well with Ceo at the top of the order in setting the table for our RBI producers.”  Pappas became the first Duck outfielder to earn All-America honors.  At the plate in 2012, senior Kaylan Howard tied the school season extra-base hits record (31), and ranked top seven in doubles (second, 17), RBI (fourth, 52), total bases (fourth, 120) and homers (seventh, 12).

Senior Jessica Moore earned NFCA All-American honors in 2012, while rewriting the Duck records books.  She had new season highs in strikeouts (256) and was second-best with 33 wins, 47 starts, 33 complete games, 52 appearances and 303.2 innings. The righty enters her senior season as the school record holder for strikeouts (718) and wins (73), and top five in appearances (fourth, 134) and shutouts (fifth, 15).  Coach White will count on his senior, “Jess Moore keeps getting stronger every year and I feel that she should be in the running for a spot on the US National team. She has all the physical tools and her mental game is now coming up big. She is a very determined young lady and relishes the pressure of big games.”  White is equally excited about the rest of his staff, “The big addition this year is Cheridan Hawkins. Hawkins broke Jess Moore’s Nor Cal strikeout record for a season with over 500. The addition of a lefty to the staff is huge given both (Karissa) Hovinga and Moore are righties. Hovinga had a very successful summer with the Canadian National team and continues to progress each season. I think all three really complement each other well. Jess has really been a great leader of the staff in that respect. She does not miss a moment to help Karissa and Cheridan in learning their craft.”

Who to Watch:
Coach White brings in a load of new faces this season.  He talked about them and his expectations, “We have the deepest freshman class to date with seven true freshmen and one redshirt freshman in Alyssa Gillespie. Gillespie is returning from off season shoulder surgery and was a member of the ASA 16U National champion Northwest Blaze. Heading the class is catcher Janelle Lindvall, utility Koral Costa and infielder Danica Mercado. All three played huge rolls on the SoCal club teams the previous season and really impressed the coaching staff this fall. Stevie Jo Knapp is a power hitting corner who hit some tape measure shots in the fall, Andrinae White impressed both in the field and at bat and is pushing hard for a spot on the starting roster. The smooth fielding Karine Shaver from Hawaii will back up Ceo at shortstop and lefty pitching sensation Cheridan Hawkins rounds out the class.”

Final Projection:
With the return of Moore in the circle and most of the defense and batting order coming back from the 2012 World Series squad, Coach White’s team should continue to stay at the very top of the college game.  A tough early schedule will test and prepare the Ducks for the more than challenging Pac-12.  There is little doubt we will see Oregon at the top of their conference ready to make deep run into the post season.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Kaylan Howard, 2B, 190
Hits: Samantha Pappas, OF, 70
Home Runs: Kaylan Howard, 2B, 12; Kaliee Cuico, 1B, 12
RBIs: Kaliee Cuico, 1B, 54
Runs: Kaylan Howard, 2B, 45
Stolen Bases: Samantha Pappas, OF, 22

Wins: Jessica Moore, P, 33
Innings Pitched: Jessica Moore, P, 303.2
Strikeouts: Jessica Moore, P, 256
Saves: Jessica Moore, P, 2; Karissa Hovinga, P, 2

Madness 2013 Softball Recruit Rankings:
#8 Janelle Lindvall
#30 Cheridan Hawkins
#39 Danica Mercado
#80 Koral Costa


See All Softball Top 44 Team Previews