The Pacific University infielder is recognized for a phenomenal sophomore season
FOREST GROVE Rachel Roberts, a 2012 graduate of Oregon City High School, gained national acclaim last week when she was honored by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association as a NCAA Division III Softball Second Team All-American.
The national coaching organization announced the 2014 All-American team on May 21 at a banquet held in conjunction with the NCAA Division III Softball National Championship in Dallas, Texas.
Roberts, who plays second base for Pacific University, is Pacifics first softball All-American since the university transitioned to NCAA Division III membership for the 1998-99 season, and the first since Vallie Wells was named to the NFCA NAIA All-American Team in 1998.
One of the rewards of being a coach is watching the growth and development of players, said Pacific coach Tim Hill. Seeing the level that Rachel has attained after her first two years at Pacific has been very gratifying and extremely fun to watch. What pleases me most is that she has absolutely earned this award. She gives 100 percent in practices and in games. She is constantly looking to improve and she is open to all instruction.
Amazingly, she is not a finished product. She still has room to grow.
All-American status completes a sweep of potential honors for the sophomore. She was selected by conference coaches as the 2014 Northwest Conference Player of the Year, was a unanimous selection to the All-NWC First Team and was named to the NFCA Division III All-West Region First Team.
Roberts during the past season led the NWC with a .468 batting average and 58 hits, both of which set Pacific single season records. Starting in all 38 games, Roberts finished with 33 runs, seven doubles, a home run and 20 RBIs.
She also finished second in the NWC with a .521 on-base percentage. She ranked among the NCAA Division III statistical leaders in batting average (45th) and sacrifice flies (46th).
Roberts most notable statistical achievement, however, came in stolen bases, where she set a school single-season record, with 46, shattering the previous mark of 38, set by current Pacific assistant coach Stephanie Henningson in 2011.
Roberts average of 1.21 stolen bases per game led Division III and was one of the top marks in the nation at all collegiate levels.
Roberts had at least one hit in all but two games this season and had 17 multi-hit games. Her season-best performance came against Lewis & Clark on March 31, when she went 4-for-4, with a RBI, a run and four stolen bases. It was one of four games in which Roberts had four stolen bases.