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UH’s Iwata, Ricketts claim top WAC softball awards

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For the second straight season, Hawaii’s Jessica Iwata and Stephanie Ricketts topped the voting for the Western Athletic Conference’s softball awards.
Iwata, a sophomore shortstop, repeated as WAC Player of the Year and Ricketts, a junior, was named WAC Pitcher of the Year, the league announced today.
Iwata and Ricketts made the All-WAC first team and outfielders Alex Aguirre and Kelly Majam were second-team selections.
Iwata hit .429 in WAC play, good for second in the league, with five home runs and 22 runs batted in. Overall, she leads the Wahine at .358 with 15 homers and 42 RBIs. She’s the first UH player to receive back-to-back WAC Player of the Year awards since Kate Judd won it in 2001 and ’02.
Ricketts went 8-4 in 14 conference appearances with a 1.92 earned-run average and 87 strikeouts and held opponents to a .215 batting average. She is the first UH player to earn two WAC pitcher of the year awards.
Majam, a sophomore, hit .319 with nine RBIs in WAC games. Aguirre, a junior, hit .314 and earned All-WAC recognition for the first time in her career.
New Mexico State’s Valerie Swedberg was named Freshman of the Year and Kathy Rodolph won the Coach of the Year award.
NMSU first baseman Hoku Nohara, a Kamehameha graduate, made the first team.
UH (36-16, 14-7 WAC) finished fourth in the regular season and open the WAC tournament against fifth-seeded Utah State today at Bulldog Diamond in Fresno, Calif. The game is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Hawaii time.

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