Nicole Lopez named BWC Freshman of the Year, Four honored by Big West

Nikki Lopez // Hawaii Athletics

University of Hawai’i softball player Nicole Lopez was named Big West Freshman Player of the Year and was voted along with teammate Sarah Muzik to the All-Freshman Team, while Keiki Carlos and Brittany Hitchcock were both selected to the all-Big West second team on Tuesday.

Lopez, a rookie out of Mid-Pacific Institute in Honolulu, hit .287 overall with five home runs, 24 RBI, 50 hits, nine doubles, two triples and 18 runs scored. Her conference season saw an uptick in production as she hit .292 with a pair of homers and collected 21 hits–including two game-winning hits. In all Lopez recorded 13 multi-hit games, three multi-RBI contests had an 11-game hit streak and reached base in 18 consecutive games to end the conference season.

For Carlos, a senior from Mililani, O’ahu, it was her third all-Big West accolade after earning first team honors as a freshman and honorable mention honors last year as a junior. This season, she hit .273 overall (44-for-161) with 24 runs scored, three home runs, 13 RBI and a team-high 10 doubles. On defense, she was solid in her fourth season in rightfield, throwing out 11 runners. Carlos ended her playing career after starting in 214 consecutive games and being ranked No. 3 all-time in UH history with 45 doubles and No. 8 with 71 total walks.

Hitchcock, a sophomore pitcher from Huntington Beach, Calif., earned her second-straight all-Big West second team accolade after going 13-15 overall and 7-7 in conference. Overall, she recorded a 2.18 ERA in 177.0 innings pitched with 19 complete games and four shutouts. She finished the season ranked No. 1 in the NCAA with fewest walks per seven innings (0.59) with just 15 walks to 103 strikeouts. In Big West games, Hitchcock posted a 1.72 ERA in 15 appearances with 11 complete games. She had issued 11 walks with 45 strikeouts in 89.2 innings pitched.

Muzik, a freshman out of Salinas, Calif., was UH’s leadoff hitter in all 54 games this season. She finished her rookie campaign hitting .284 overall (50-for-176) with three doubles, two triples and seven RBI. Muzik led the team scoring 29 runs and stealing 5-of-6 bases this season.

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