There are only six more games before the #2 Oregon Ducks softball team begin postseason play, limiting the opportunities to witness Oregon senior Janie Takeda conclude her record breaking final season with Ducks.
Nearly a month after her shoulder injury suffered in the Ducks’ loss to Washington at Howe Field, the two-time NFCA All-American has recovered and has plenty of opportunities after college.
As the No. 26 overall selection by the Dallas Charge in the National Pro Fastpitch Draft and the USA women’s national team selection for summer ball, Takeda is in the driver’s seat, in full control of her destiny.
— Pac-12 Networks (@Pac12Networks) April 27, 2015
But Takeda is a large part of Oregon’s success and one of the driving forces that has put Oregon softball into the national spotlight. And the proof is in her performance. Last weekend, in front of a packed home crowd and hosting #9 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns, Takeda sparked Oregon’s offensive onslaught by breaking school records for both all-time career hits (289) and career stolen bases (97) in the span of two pitches.
This season, she is batting .431 with 59 hits, 44 runs, and 22 RBIs. The second player in Oregon softball history to be a two-time All-American is creating a new standard for women’s athletics in Eugene.
But Takeda isn’t alone. The Oregon softball program is filled with impact players at every position, including the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week Cheridan Hawkins, who continues to make a strong case for the NCAA Player of the Year and Pac-12 and National Player of the Week Jenna Lilley.
— Oregon Duck Softball (@OregonSB) April 27, 2015
Add the consistency of leadoff hitter Nikki Udria, the powerful swing of Janelle Lindvall, and the playmaking ability of Koral Costa and you have a formidable team ready to take on any challenger.
There are plenty of reasons to buy a ticket for Oregon’s conference matchup against California this week in Eugene. For starters, it may be your last chance to watch the Ducks at Howe Field before the building of the new softball stadium.
But the most compelling reason is that these young women may be the best Oregon softball team ever assembled. Every game represent a new opportunity for greatness, to achieve on the highest level. Takeda, like so many of her teammates, represent the very best of what athleticism and sportsmanship is all about.
Top photo by Dave Peaks