Long Beach, Calif. - Cielo Meza was named the Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year as the conference announced the All-Big West awards for softball on Wednesday. Meza also earned first-team honors, while Jessica Flores garnered second-team All-Big West selection.
A redshirt freshman, Meza posted a 1.28 ERA in conference play and led the Big West in opposing batting average on the year, holding conference foes to .172 hitting on the year. She threw a no-hitter against UC Riverside, a one-hitter against Hawai’i, and finished with six wins and 54 strikeouts in 12 appearances.
Meza claimed three awards, as she was a first-team All-Big West selection and an All-Freshman Team honoree in addition to claiming Big West Freshman of the Year. She finished the season ranked in the NCAA Top 20 in both ERA and hits allowed per seven innings.
Meza was joined on All-Big West selection by Jessica Flores. A transfer from Arizona Western Community College, Flores had an outstanding conference season as a two-way player. Flores led the Beach in hitting with a .349 batting average with three home runs in league play, and also threw 22.2 innings of relief, striking out 14 with a 1.24 ERA.
Meza is the fifth pitcher in Long Beach State history to be named the freshman pitcher of the year, and all five have been chosen while Kim Sowder was the coach. Two of those pitchers were also be selected as the Big West Pitcher of the Year during their careers at the Beach.
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