Romero Chosen First Team All-Northwest Conference

Galli, Huntsman, Lessel, Robertson and Watilo Earn Second Team Honors

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University shortstop Mica Romero (Jr., Woodland, CA/Woodland Christian School), who led the Bearcats with a .374 batting average this spring, has been named First Team All-Northwest Conference for the 2011 season in voting by the league's head coaches. In addition, five Bearcats were selected Second Team All-NWC.

Players from Willamette who received Second Team All-NWC honors were infielder Courtney Galli (So., 2B/SS, Rocklin, CA/Rocklin HS), outfielders Sierra Lessel (Jr., CF, Eugene, OR/Winston Churchill HS) and Nichole Robertson (Jr., RF, Elk Grove, CA/Franklin HS/Cosumnes River College), utility player Talissa Huntsman (Jr., UT/RHP, Richland, WA/Richland HS) and pitcher Alex Watilo (Jr., RHP, Newcastle, CA/Del Oro HS).

First Team All-NWC

Mica Romero Mica Romero (Jr., SS)

In addition to her team-leading batting average, Romero also ranked first for the Bearcats with 38 runs, 24 RBIs, 11 doubles, five homers and 17 walks. She was first on the team and second in the NWC in stolen bases as she went 23 for 23 on steal attempts.

She went 4 for 4 at the plate with three runs, two doubles and two RBIs in a 9-6 win at Pomona-Pitzer on March 23. She scored four runs in an 8-5 win over Lewis & Clark College on April 3 and tallied three runs in one game four times. She drove in four runs in Willamette's 6-0 win at George Fox University on April 8.

Romero has been chosen First Team All-NWC for three consecutive seasons. She has achieved a .369 career batting average to rank seventh all-time at Willamette. She is tied for third at WU in career hits (115) and RBIs (90), is fourth in home runs (11) and fifth in doubles (32). She owns a career slugging percentage of .615 and a career on-base percentage of .468. She has played in a total of 111 games with 111 starts.

Second Team All-NWC

Courtney Galli Courtney Galli (So., 2B/SS)

Galli batted .352 this spring to rank second on the Bearcats' hitting chart. She played in 35 games with 30 starts, while scoring 15 runs and recording 13 RBIs. She hit seven doubles and one homer. She was 8 of 12 on stolen bases. On defense, she recorded 49 putouts and 61 assists with just five errors for a .957 fielding percentage.

Sierra Lessel Sierra Lessel (Jr., CF)

Lessel provided Willamette with a .316 batting average this season. She crossed the plate 21 times and was 14 for 18 on stolen base attempts. She hit five doubles and ranked second on the team with six sacrifice bunts.

In three years with the Bearcats, Lessel has hit .364 and is ninth on WU's career batting average list. She is eighth in career hit with 119. She has pounded out 19 doubles, six triples and three home runs, while scoring 79 times and achieving 55 RBIs. She is 49 of 60 on career stolen bases. Lessel has earned Second Team All-NWC honors for three years in a row.

Nichole Robertson Nichole Robertson (Jr., RF)

Robertson contributed many key hits for Willamette this spring. She hit .311 with 28 runs and 16 RBIs. Her timely hits, including eight for extra bases, helped the Bearcats average 7.5 runs per game.

She also was very reliable on the base paths and finished the season 15 for 16 on stolen bases. She earned a .944 fielding percentage.

Robertson has played in 96 games in three years at WU and has started 88 games. She holds a .308 career batting average with 56 runs and 32 RBIs. She was named Honorable Mention All-NWC in 2010.

Talissa Huntsman Talissa Huntsman (Jr., UT/RHP)

Huntsman received All-NWC honors for the third consecutive season. She was Honorable Mention All-NWC in 2009 and was chosen Second Team All-NWC in 2010.

This year, Huntsman played mostly at first base and as a pitcher, while competing in all 38 games with 36 starts. She hit .356 at the plate, where she belted 10 doubles and three home runs. She achieved 23 RBIs to ranked second on the team just one RBI behind Romero.

In 2011, Huntsman pitched 49 innings for the Bearcats. She was 3-4 and had 22 strikeouts. In her career, she has earned a 10-8 overall record with 62 strikeouts in 109 innings pitched.

Her skills as a utility player have allowed Huntsman to see action in 105 games (92 starts) in her career. She owns a .331 career batting average with 39 runs and 57 RBIs.

Alex Watilo Alex Watilo (Jr., RHP)

Watilo was the leader of Willamette's pitching staff in 2011. She pitched in 24 games with 20 starts, and ended the year with a 15-6 record (.714), 14 complete games and six shutouts. She had a 2.47 earned run average. Watilo allowed four or fewer hits in eight of her complete-game performances, including a one-hitter against George Fox on April 8.

It was the third year in a row in which Watilo has received NWC recognition. She was chosen First Team All-NWC in 2009 and was an Honorable Mention All-NWC selection in 2010.

During her WU career, Watilo has built a 38-13 overall record (.745) to go with a 2.49 ERA. She has struck out 174 batters in 337 1/3 innings pitched.

Willamette concluded the 2011 season with a 19-19 overall record, including 16-12 (4th place) in the NWC. Willamette was one of four teams to qualify for the NWC Tournament.

COMPLETE LIST
All-Northwest Conference
Softball Team for 2011
Mica Romero led the Bearcats with a .374 batting average, 38 runs and 24 RBIs.

Mica Romero led the Bearcats with a .374 batting average, 38 runs and 24 RBIs.