Freshman Stevie Hansen Adds Depth To Oregon Pitching Staff
As a sophomore at Norco High School, Stevie Hansen threw back-to-back perfect games. Now, she’s living her dream at Oregon.
"I think for the longest time when I was a kid watching softball, I had always been like, 'Wow, I want to be like these girls,'" Hansen said. "I wanted to play on TV. I wanted to be at a school that’s well known for softball. And I had always grown up watching Oregon. I did the dream that younger me had.”
The freshman pitcher was the No. 8 player in SA’s 2021 Top 100 Recruiting Rankings. She is also the highest rated recruit among Oregon's newcomers this season.
Ducks pitcher Brooke Yanez had a stellar season in 2021, sporting a 2.11 ERA with 268 strikeouts and 14 complete games in 182.1 innings pitched. But the Ducks didn’t quite have another pitcher that could match Yanez’s performance.
However, Hansen looks to change that in 2022. Her 0.55 ERA in high school, while leading her team to back-to-back state titles in 2018 and 2019, could help Oregon in the circle with the one-two punch of Yanez and Hansen.
Hansen hopes to still help the team this season even if she’s not able to contribute as much as she wants to.
"The first year you want to come in as a freshman and take that starting position," Hansen said. "I just hope that if (Yanez) needs help, I can help her, and if I'm struggling, she can help me."
Hansen even received help from Yanez during fall practices in 2021.
"It's just been really nice having her there to just show me what to do, and then being able to pitch with her and watch her pitch," Hansen said. "It's like, 'Okay, I need to step it up a little bit to compete with her. So, it's been really nice. It's been a really good competition and a lot of help."
Hansen’s family has been a big part of her softball journey. She wanted to follow in her sister’s footsteps by playing softball as well.
But it’s her grandpa who has been her biggest supporter.
"I think the strongest person that's been here through it all was my grandpa,” she said. “Whenever I was struggling, he would just be there saying, 'Come on, you can do it.' He's always like, 'Hey, I hope you're working on this pitch.' He always gives me advice when I need it."
The impact Hansen will make in her first year of college softball is unknown right now, but it could make a difference for an Oregon team that finished sixth in the Pac-12 in team ERA last season.
Despite the uncertainty coming into the year, Hansen said she can’t wait to start pitching at Jane Sanders Stadium.
"I'm just excited for the loud stadium," Hansen said. "I’m excited for the energy that we're going to pull from the stands and from the dugout this year."