On April 29 the Northwest Conference posted the softball All Conference honorees. One of Pacific’s players, sophomore Rachel Roberts, earned one of the NWC’s top achievements. Roberts was named Player of the Year for the 2014 season.
Roberts came to Pacific from Oregon City, Ore. to study Public Health. She batted second and played second base for the Boxers in 2014. Robert’s biggest achievement this spring was her forty-seven stolen bases, which averaged to 1.24 stolen bases per game. This phenomenal statistic not only tops the charts of division three athletics, but is the highest in the entire National Collegiate Athletic Association. As a result, Roberts earned the title of the best player in the nation in stolen bases.
Robert’s NCAA chart-topper also broke the University’s record of thirty-eight stolen bases, set by Stephanie Vanoudenhaegen in 2011. Robert’s fifty-eight hits also broke Pacific’s single season hitting record, also previously held by Vanoudenhaegen.
Roberts also batted .475 in 2014, which landed her at forty-fourth in NCAA division three in batting average. She had eighty-five putouts and forty-eight assists at second base with only five errors on the season.
Roberts’ reaction to being awarded the Player of the Year award was extremely humble. She gave all of the credit to head coach Tim Hill, who coached his final season in 2014.
”I feel very humbled and very honored.’’ said Roberts. ”Words can’t describe how blessed I feel to be on this team and to have played for Tim these past two years, like I said I wouldn’t be where I am without him.”
Roberts said she was thrilled to make Hill’s final season his best.
“My favorite part of this season and my career was probably being able to send Tim out with what I feel was a great year,” said Roberts.
Roberts is excited to build upon her success as an underclassman. She is looking forward to stepping into a leadership role next year, and is going to help coach this summer in order to get some leadership experience.
“In the offseason I plan on coaching an 18 and under team that I have played on the past few years,” said Roberts. ”I’m really excited to work with some younger girls and learn more from coaching.”
Roberts said her biggest inspiration is her brother Zach, who is a football player at the University of Redlands.
“He’s been through one shoulder surgery and is about to undergo his second in the next couple weeks, yet he’s still not giving up his love,” said Roberts. ”There’s just no one that works harder and I hope I can be half the athlete he is someday.”
Her teammates said Roberts is the personification of all the desired characteristics of a Pacific University student athlete.
”She is the perfect player and person to play with,” said sophomore outfielder, Megan Winans.
Everyone at Pacific is proud of Roberts’ achievements and are excited to see what she can do in the second half of her career.