It’s been a big couple of days for the Utah softball team, as they took home some major post season hardware after getting awarded a home Regional. One of the best Utah softball players to suit up, Hannah Flippen, took home Pac-12 Player of the Year honors, Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors, Pac-12 All-First Team honors, and Pac-12 All-Defensive Team honors. In a league like the Pac-12, it’s very impressive to have a season like that, with the likes of Arizona, UCLA, Stanford and others in the league. This follows up her Pac-12 Player of the Year award from last season. Flippen has been the cornerstone of this Utah turnaround on the softball field, and has been a major contributor since she stepped on campus.
Looks like the Utes may have a good replacement with Alyssa Barrera, a freshman outfielder that received All Pac-12 Second Team honors. Hopefully young talented players like her can keep the momentum going.
For the full list of Utes on the post season awards list, and some more background, check out the press release below:
SAN FRANCISCO - The Pac-12 Conference named Utah senior Hannah Flippen Player of the Year for a second season in a row and five other Utes earned postseason awards this afternoon
Flippen was joined by Miranda Viramontes on the Pac-12 First Team while Anissa Urtez, Katie Donovan and Alyssa Barrera earned spots on the second team. Flippen was also named Defensive Player of the Year and picked up a spot on the All-Defensive Team. Barrera joined classmate Kelly Martinez on the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team.
The five players selected to the first and second all-conference teams are the most for Utah since it joined the Pac-12. The Utes had three first and second-team selections the past two seasons.
Flippen ranks among the top 10 in the Pac-12 in a number of offensive categories such as batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, runs batted in, runs scored, doubles and total bases. The 2016 Pac-12 Player of the Year started every game of her career and will leave with the school records for runs scored and batting average and currently ranks third all-time in walks and hits.
A member of the US National Team and Academic All-America First Team selection, Flippen becomes the eighth player to win consecutive Pac-12 Player of the Year awards since it was introduced in 1987. She is the first Ute to be named conference player of the year in consecutive seasons.
Utah players went back-to-back capturing the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year awards in 2000 (Kristin Arbogast) and 2001 (Lyndsey Trevis).
Charmelle Green (1991) and current head coach Amy (Timmel) Hogue (1994) were the other two Utes to earn Player of the Year awards at Utah (Western Athletic Conference)
Flippen was also named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the first Ute to ever earn that award. She is the first player to complete the double since this award was introduced in 2005
Viramontes, an All-Freshman selection in 2015, is 13-3 with a 1.22 ERA, fifth-best in the Pac-12. She also ranks eighth nationally in walks per seven innings (14 in 103 1/3 IP). Viramontes threw a perfect game vs. CSU Bakersfield and has a propensity for winning big contests, turning in complete game victories this season over No. 13 Tennessee and No. 10 UCLA.
Urtez, a three-time All Pac-12 honoree, has also started every game in her career and is having the best offensive year of her career, ranking fifth in the Pac-12 with a .397 batting average. She also ranks eighth in the league in runs batted in and with 41 doubles and 155 career RBIs, she now ranks among the top five in Utah history.
Donovan earned All Pac-12 honors for a third-straight season. She has 15 wins to give her 52 for her career and ranks ninth in the Pac-12 in strikeouts, recently surpassing 400 K's for her career. She has also notched two saves and leads the team in innings pitched this season (139.1)
Barrera, who also made the short list of finalists for the 2017 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year award, ranks fourth in the Pac-12 and leads the Utes with 41 runs scored. She reached base safely in her first 13 games and opened her collegiate career with an 11-game hit streak, while starting every contest for the Utes.
Utah also had a student-athlete named to the Pac-12 All-Freshmen team for a sixth-consecutive year with Barrera and Martinez both being selected. Martinez led the league this seasons by throwing out 13 base runners and also notched a Pac-12 Freshman of the Week award earlier this season.
2017 Pac-12 Player of the Year
Hannah Flippen - SR, 2B
2017 Pac-12 All-Conference First Team
Hannah Flippen- SR, 2B; Miranda Viramontes – JR, P
2017 Pac-12 All-Conference Second Team
Alyssa Barrera - FR, OF; Katie Donovan - JR, P; Anissa Urtez- SR, SS
2017 Pac-12 All-Freshman Team
Alyssa Barrera – OF; Kelly Martinez - C
2017 Defensive Player of the Year
Hannah Flippen - SR, 2B
2017 Pac-12 All-Defensive Team
Hannah Flippen - SR, 2B