Pacific Softball: Armagost Leads Six Tigers On The All-Big West Awards List
As announced by the Big West Conference office on Tuesday, May 18, the Pacific softball team was well represented on the post-season all-conference awards list as six Tigers earned awards. Led by freshman Nikki Armagost (Andover, Kan.) who was named the Big West's Freshman Pitcher of the Year, the Tigers also placed freshman Megan Hom (Irvine, Calif.) on the All-Big West First Team while senior Karie Wilson (Glendale, Ariz.) and junior Lindsey Pierce (Camarillo, Calif.) each earned second team honors with sophomore Alexa Rivera (Sacramento, Calif.) and freshman Megan Allen (Yucaipa, Calif.) earning honorable mention. In addition to pitching honor, Armagost was named the All-Big West First Team as a pitcher while earning second team honors as a utility player.
Armagost was the first Tiger to earn the freshman pitcher of the year award since former Tigers Briana Santos (2006-09) garnered the award five seasons ago.
Living up to the lofty expectations coming into Pacific out of high school, Armagost proved to be one of the top overall pitchers in the Big West Conference while leading the way among the freshmen class. The freshman ace for the Tigers finished her first collegiate season with a 13-12 overall record, with her 13 wins ranking fourth among conference pitchers. Above her overall record, Armagost's numbers in the circle were stunning for a freshman as she led the conference in ERA (2.12) and in opposing batting average (.210). Even more impressively, Armagost proved to be the Tigers' work horse as she finished the year with a conference-best 19 complete games, including 10 in conference play, and five shutouts while throwing 172.0 innings. Additionally, Armagost was near the top in strikeouts as she finished the year with 123 while leading the conference with 41 looking. For the year, Armagost picked up one conference pitcher of the week award as she earned the distinction on Mar. 1 after picking up a complete game, 4-2, victory over then No. 22 Northwestern.
On top of her stellar year in the circle, Armagost proved to be just as adept at the plate as she finished her freshman campaign hitting .284 with three home runs, a team-best 12 doubles and 29 RBI. Her 29 RBI ranked fifth in the conference overall and second among all freshmen as she trailed only fellow All-Big West honoree, Megan Allen, who finished the year with 30 RBI. Armagost's 12 doubles placed her name in the Tigers' single-season record books as her 2010 campaign ranks tied for No. 10 all-time. In the field, Armagost committed just one error in 201 chances despite playing three different positions for the Tigers. Her lone error came while pitching in conference play as she was flawless playing mainly at first base for the Tigers when not pitching. After the season, Armagost was named the team's most valuable player as voted on by her peers.
In Hom, the Tigers witnessed the emergence of a special center fielder who will man the position for the next three seasons. Playing her first collegiate season, Hom was spectacular at the plate and in the field as she finished the season hitting .363 while playing a perfect center field. Her .363 batting average ranked No. 4 in the Big West for the year while she was even better in conference play after batting .382 through the Tigers' 21 contests. In the field, Hom was one of just seven players in the conference and one of just two regular starters to finish the season without an error. At the plate, Hom racked up a team and conference-best 62 hits while batting second in the order for the Tigers all season long. Additionally, Hom posted 15 sacrifice hits throughout the season, a mark which also led all Big West batters. On the base paths, Hom posted a team-high 10 stolen bases while scoring 33 runs, fourth best in the conference while ranking second among all freshmen. She earned the Tigers' first and only conference field player of the week award, garnering the award on February 22 after batting .750 and notching her first career RBI during the week.
Alongside of Hom, Pierce proved to be the spark plug to the Tigers' conference best offense as the junior right fielder posted a career year at the plate after batting .366 to lead the team and earn her second straight all-conference award. Her overall batting average ranked third among all Big West hitters while she also posted an impressive .452 on-base percentage which also ranked third. For the year, Pierce ranked just behind Hom in the hit department as she tallied 60 hits on the year. Additionally, Pierce added two doubles and three triples while walking a team-high 26 times to post 68 total bases on the year, a mark which ranked No. 10 in the conference. More importantly for Pierce, of her 26 walks, 14 were issued to leadoff a game for the Tigers, allowing her team to get a feeling for the opposing pitcher while putting the leadoff batter on base for the meat of the order.
Joining Pierce on the second team and closing out her career, Wilson saved the best for last to pick up her second straight all-conference award. Playing her final season, Wilson posted career-bests across the board offensively for the Tigers as she batted .290 with six doubles, six home runs and 26 RBI. Her 26 RBI, while ranking fourth on the team, ranked No. 8 in the Big West while her six home runs also ranked in at No. 8. In conference play, Wilson batted .299 and drove in 10 runs while batting at both the No. 3 and No. 5 spots in the order. Behind the plate, Wilson was fourth in the conference in throwing runners out as she caught nine would-be base stealers on the year. In addition to her time behind the plate, Wilson was asked to play first throughout the season due to injuries, picking up the position for the first time in her career. Due to her play, Wilson was named the team's most inspirational player for the second consecutive season.
Rounding out the Tigers on the all-conference teams, was the Tigers' middle infield duo. Coming back from a season ending knee injury that took away half of her freshman season, Rivera's move to second base in her second season at Pacific proved to be successful. After a slow start while still trying to get her legs back under her, Rivera came on strong in conference play batting .297 with six doubles and 11 RBI. Over the final month of the season, Rivera posted a .333 average including finishing the season hitting safely in six straight games to help lead the Tigers' to their fourth place finish in the conference. Additionally, over the month, Rivera was perfect in the field as she finished the year with a .962 overall fielding percentage after committing just seven errors at second base.
In the field and at the plate, Allen produced an impressive freshman season for the Tigers after switching from third to shortstop just seven games into the season after injuries forced Pacific to shuffle its defense. Taking over at short, Allen proved herself among the best in the Big West as she finished the year as the top fielding shortstop in the entire conference posting a .960 fielding percentage after committing just eight errors on the year. While showing off her glove in the field, Allen flexed her muscles at the plate for the Tigers as she led the team with nine home runs on the year, a mark which ranked second in the conference and first among freshmen. Additionally, Allen drove in 30 RBI in her first season pacing the 2010 Big West freshmen class while ranking fourth in the conference. In conference play, Allen improved her overall average batting .286 while driving in 12 runs.