Two Bearcats Earn All-West Region Honors in Softball

Watilo and Martin are Recognized for Successful Seasons in 2012

By Brandon Chinn, Athletics Communications Writer

SALEM, ORE. -- Two Willamette University softball players have been selected All-West Region by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). The All-West Region selections were divided into three teams with a total of 45 athletes chosen from throughout the region. 

Alex Watilo (Sr., RHP, Newcastle, CA/Del Oro HS) was a Second Team All-West Region selection while Theresa Martin (Fr., 3B, Modesto, CA/Johansen HS) was named Third Team All-West Region. 

Willamette concluded the season with a 21-15 overall record. The Bearcats finished in third place in the Northwest Conference with a 19-9 conference record.

Second Team All-West Region

Alex Watilo Alex Watilo (Sr., RHP)

Watilo led the Bearcats in the pitcher's circle this spring, finishing the season with a 14-7 record to go along with an impressive 1.87 earned run average. Pitching a total of 130 2/3 innings, Watilo struck out a career-high 84 batters and limited opponents to a mere .223 batting average. 

One of her many accomplishments this season came on April 14th when she pitched a complete-game two-hit shutout against the nation's #1 team at the time, Linfield College, in a 2-0 road win.

The victory against Linfield also made Watilo the winningest pitcher in Willamette softball history with 51 career wins, breaking the previous record of 50 set by Nikki Franchi in 2009. Including a win in the NWC Tournament, she finished her career with 52 wins.

"There is no one who deserves this award more than Alex," said Willamette Head Coach Damian Williams. "She carried us this year. Having the year she had while in graduate school and student teaching was awesome."

During her career, Watilo set Bearcat pitching records for appearances (88), games started (76) and complete games (55). She tied Nikki Franchi '09 for the lead with 18 solo shutouts and finished second in career innings pitched (468.0) and career strikeouts (258).

Watilo's performance this season landed her as a Second Team All-NWC selection for the second consecutive year (2011, 2012). She was previously chosen as First Team All-NWC in 2009 and Honorable Mention All-NWC in 2010. She achieved a 2.32 career ERA.

Third Team All-West Region

Theresa Martin Theresa Martin (Fr., 3B)

Martin had an outstanding freshman season for the Bearcats this spring. She produced a .398 batting average to rank second on the team and was a starter in 31 of the Bearcat's 36 games. 

She produced a team-high 35 hits and 30 RBIs, while also scoring 21 runs. She belted eight doubles, one triple and three home runs on her way to completing the year with a .614 slugging percentage.

Coach Williams felt that Martin's run production at the plate was especially important to the Bearcats' success this season.

"What a great year for the freshman," Williams said. "To come in and have 30 RBIs was huge for us."

Martin's presence was especially felt in a 19-10 victory over George Fox on Feb. 25th. She went 4 for 4 with three runs and four RBIs in the high-scoring affair.

Defensively for the Bearcats, Martin led the way with 66 assists and also contributed 33 putouts at third base. 

Along with the All-West Region selection, Martin was awarded First Team All-NWC honors for the Bearcats. 

2012 NCAA Division III
All-West Region
Softball Team
Senior pitcher Alex Watilo recorded a 1.87 ERA on her way to winning 14 games this season.

Senior pitcher Alex Watilo recorded a 1.87 ERA on her way to winning 14 games this season.

Theresa Martin hit .398 for the Bearcats this year with three home runs and 30 RBI's.

Theresa Martin hit .398 for the Bearcats this year with three home runs and 30 RBI's.