She has the highest batting average, highest slugging percentage, highest on base percentage, has started the most games, holds the record for the most home runs and is tied for most games played among numerous other Linfield softball records. Can you guess which 2012 graduate holds these records? If you answered Staci Doucette, you were correct.
Linfield alum Staci Doucette was recognized for her outstanding accomplishments, while playing at Linfield College. She was awarded the Ad Rutchman Small-College Athlete of the Year Award on Feb. 10 at the Tiger Woods Center on the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.
Keisha Gordon, a basketball player at George Fox University and Junia Limage, a runner at Concordia University were the other nominees for the female Athlete of the Year category.
Doucette knocked the other nominees out of the park as Jay Locey, former head coach of Linfield football (1996-2005) and current Oregon State University chief of staff, announced her as the winner.
“It was truly an honor to win the award, and to even be mentioned with some of the other nominees and award winners of the evening,” Doucette said.
She was a standout among the other athletes at the 61st Oregon Sports Award ceremony. Some of her career accolades include 73 home runs, 259 RBIs later and four-time All American.
She was happy to celebrate her accomplishments with her family at the Oregon Sports Awards.
Softball has always been a big part of her life, and she has her parents to thank for that. Both of her parents played slow pitch when they were younger, so Doucette has been around the game since she was very little. Her parents rarely missed her games.
She is also grateful for the support she has received from her coaches and teammates through the years. Her coaches pushed her to think about her swing mechanics and game strategies.
“I’ve had some pretty amazing coaches, namely my summer ball coach, Tom Bequette,” she said. “Obviously, [Coach] Jackson was a huge influence, as well. Also, my Linfield teammates did a great job of pushing me, and the rest of the team, to work hard every single day.”
One of her greatest contributions to the Linfield softball program was her positive leadership. She led Catball to a second place finish at the National Tournament.
“The atmosphere of Linfield softball is amazing,” she said. “The Catball philosophy has always been to do things right, not only on the field but off of it as well. We have very high standards for ourselves, and we’re often our harshest critics. Seeing how hard everybody works every single day is pretty amazing.”
As Doucette has transitioned from a college athlete to a college graduate, she has continued to commit herself to Linfield softball. Since her move to McMinnville in December, she has been serving as the assistant coach for her former Catball teammates.
“I think softball will definitely always be apart of my life,” Doucette said. “I expect to coach for quite awhile. I’m definitely going to take some time off from playing for now, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I pick it up again in a few years.”
Doucette feels honored to be apart of the Linfield softball tradition and is thankful for her family, coaches and teammates.
“I couldn’t have done any of this without my teammates, so thanks you guys.”
Sarah Mason/ Staff writer
Sarah Mason can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org