OKLAHOMA CITY – USA Softball, the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States, announced pitching veteran Jessica Moore has been named the 2016 USA Softball Female Athlete of the Year.
Moore was a staple in the circle for the U.S. last summer and earned the win in the Championship finale at the WBSC Women’s World Championship against Japan as the U.S. reclaimed the Gold for the first time since 2010.
“This is such an unbelievable recognition to receive after the amazing season that our team had,” said Moore. “This honor would not have been possible without my teammates. We all really came together, played as one unit and bought into the program, so to receive this recognition after a year like that is an unbelievable feeling.”
As a member of the 2016 USA Softball WNT roster, Moore competed at the USA vs. Japan All-Star Series (Tokyo/Sendai, Japan), the World Cup of Softball XI (Oklahoma City, Okla.), the WBSC Women’s World Championship (Surrey, B.C., Canada) and the Japan Cup (Takasaki City, Japan). During the World Cup of Softball, Moore proved why she continues to be a staple of a strong U.S. pitching staff, issuing just one hit and three walks while striking out 15 batters en route to a 3-0 record and a 0.64 ERA.
The California native had a breakout performance at the WBSC Women’s World Championship. Coming out strong in the circle for the Eagles, Moore fanned 23 opponents, allowing just three earned runs to cross the plate in 15 innings pitched. After pitching the Red, White and Blue to the semi-finals after a shutout victory over Venezuela, Team USA earned a spot in the Gold Medal finale against the two-time defending World Champion Japan. Moore would enter the game in the bottom of the second inning, and would toss two and two-third solid innings before leaving the game in the bottom of the fifth. The U.S. would go on to win the Gold Medal with a 7-3 win over Japan with Moore earning the win.
“This is a well-deserved honor for the ‘back-bone’ of our pitching staff,” said USA Softball WNT Head Coach Ken Eriksen. “Jess’s performance in the World Championships in Surrey, B.C., Canada was a key factor in returning the World Championship Gold Medal to the United States. Her outings against Australia and Japan were stellar as she shut down the opposition bats and allowed her offense to regain the leads and eventually win crucial ball games. Her entire summer was consistent and we will continue to build on that.”
For the season, Moore led the U.S. pitching staff with 43 strikeouts and an 8-2 record through 37.2 innings pitched for a 2.79 ERA. One of her top performances of the year included a no-hitter against a tough Australia lineup during the World Cup of Softball XI. With the sole exception of a walk, Moore retired a potent Aussie lineup with five strikeouts, utilizing a strong U.S. defense to earn a no-hitter.
You can find more information about Jessica Moore as well as complete results from the 2016 WBSC Women’s World Championship at USASoftball.com.
Information & photo courtesy of USA Softball