FULLERTON, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton juniors Courtney Rodriguez and Missy Taukeiaho joined freshman Samantha Vandiver on the All-Big West Conference First Team, highlighting a group of six Titans on the softball all-league honor roll released by the conference office Wednesday. Vandiver also earned Fullerton's first-ever Freshman Field Player of the Year honor.
After transferring from the University of Washington following her freshman campaign, Taukeiaho clinches her second consecutive nod on the conference's first-team while Rodriguez and Vandiver reach the top line in their first seasons as a Titan, respectively.
Cal State Fullerton junior Sarah Moore, another transfer from the University of Missouri, collected second-team honors and sophomore Delynn Rippy was tabbed as an honorable mention. Vandiver and fellow rookie Bryanna Ybarra rounded out the Titan accolades on the Big West All-Freshman Team.
Leading Cal State Fullerton to its highest single-season team batting average at .312, Vandiver recorded a program record 24-game hitting-streak in her first 24 starts. She will take a team high 13-game streak into the 2015-16 season. The Huntington Beach, Calif. native posted the second highest average for a Titan in any single-season with a .459 clip, just shy of four-time first-team All-American Jenny Topping's mark of .472 in 2002. Batting from the left-side, Vandiver surpasses Sue Lewis' 34-year reign for top freshman average (.408) which was set back in the 1981 season. The left fielder also earned Big West Player of the Week honors earlier this year on March 9. Vandiver recorded a conference second-best .496 on-base percentage and led the circuit with 32 hits in 21 conference games while striking out only eight times over the course of the entire season.
Rodriguez, a transfer from the University of Arizona, was one of three Titans to start in all 56 games. Complimenting a .406 average, the native of Scottsdale, Ariz. boasted team highs in at-bats (197), runs (41), hits (80), and RBI (42). Rodriguez was Fullerton's top threat on the base paths, swiping 15 bags in 17 attempts. Her six triples place her fifth in the program record books for most in a single-season. The center fielder was also stellar defensively, carding a .987 fielding percentage with 72 putouts, six assists, and three double plays. Rodriguez will take a 10-game hitting streak into next season after posting a 12-game tear earlier in the year. She earned the Titans' second nod for a conference player of the week honor on March 16 while leading the team with the most multi-hit performances (23) including eight three-hit efforts and 11 multi-RBI games.
Moore transitioned nicely into the Fullerton offensive attack, recording a team high 12 doubles en route to a .320 average. She collected 48 hits, two triples and one home run in 50 starts. The Chino Hills, Calif. native was the only Titan to tally a four-hit game, accomplishing the feat on two occasions. Batting from the right-side, eight of Moore's doubles came in conference play as she crushed opposing pitching with a .403 average while adding a .552 slugging percentage. She was one of five Titans to produce a double-digit total for multi-hit games with 10 on the season.
Hailing from Oceanside, Calif., Rippy competed in 52 games (50 starts) and mustered up a solid .329 average. Another consistent lefty in the line-up, Rippy had five multi-hit games including a pair of three-hit performances. She added to the speed dynamic on offense, turning in a perfect 7-for-7 in steal attempts. Rippy showed identical consistency in the outfield, finishing the season as one of only two Titans to register a 1.000 fielding percentage with a minimum of 60 chances.
Rounding out the Titan honors was Ybarra who filled in exceptionally for the injured Taukeiaho midway through the season with a .309 average in 34 games (16 starts). The Torrance, Calif. native added four doubles, one triple and eight RBIs while showing a great deal of patience at the plate with 15 walks.
NCAA tournament bound CSUN highlighted the awards with a league-high five selections to the first-team earning at least a share of four of the six honors including Player of the Year in Katie Hooper, Freshman Pitcher of the Year Zoe Conley, Co-Freshman Field Player of the Year Savannah Horvath with Vandiver and Coach of the Year in Tairia Flowers. Long Beach State earned two accolades of its own in Co-Pitcher of the Year Christina Clermont and Defensive Player of the Year Shayna Kimbrough. UC Riverside completed the recognitions as Chelsea Ponce earned Co-Pitcher of the Year.
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