Richards, Watilo and Bray are Selected as NFCA All-America Scholar-Athletes

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Three Willamette University softball players have been honored by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) as 2009 All-America Scholar-Athletes. The Bearcat athletes are Marissa Richards (B.A. '09, 1B, Newberg, OR/Newberg HS), Alex Watilo (Fr. in '09, RHP, Newcastle, CA/Del Oro HS) and Emily Bray (Fr. in '09, IF, Martinez, CA/Alhambra HS).

Players selected as NFCA All-America Scholar-Athletes had to earn at least a 3.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale during the 2008-09 academic year.

Richards graduated from Willamette this past spring with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics. She has remained at Willamette to work on a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree. Watilo and Bray are both undecided regarding their majors.

Marissa RichardsIn 2009, Richards hit .313 for the Bearcats, with three doubles, one triple and three home runs. She also achieved a 1.000 fielding percentage, as she registered 151 putouts and six assists with no errors.

During four years with the Bearcats, Richards played in 124 games with 116 starts. She achieved a .321 career batting average with 115 hits in 358 at bats. She scored 77 runs and pounded out 26 doubles, two triples and 11 home runs.

Richards earned a .996 career fielding percentage at first base. She provided Willamette with 505 putouts and 16 assists, while committing just two errors.

watilo_alex_web2_2009.jpgWatilo achieved a 13-3 record as a pitcher during the 2009 season. She finished the year with a 1.20 ERA to go with 66 strikeouts in 105 1/3 innings. She limited opponents to a .229 batting average. She held seven opponents to just two or three hits, and allowed five or fewer hits in 12 of her 17 appearances.

Watilo tossed 14 complete games, including seven shutouts. She picked up two important NWC triumphs early in the season, helping WU defeat Pacific University 9-1 on March 7 and 7-1 on March 8.

Emily BrayBray saw action in two games, but missed most of the season due to an injury. She batted .250 with one hit in four at bats. She walked once, scored one run and was 1 for 2 on stolen bases.

The Bearcats completed the 2009 season with a 29-6 overall record, including 22-6 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette took second place in the NWC.

Marissa Richards achieved a .321 career batting average and earned a .996 career fielding percentage.

Marissa Richards achieved a .321 career batting average and earned a .996 career fielding percentage.