Oord named NWC Player of the Year


Hannah Curry

Senior Melanie Oord at bat in a home game.

Gabriel Nair, Staff writer

The Northwest Conference Softball Player of the Year went to Linfield’s Melanie Oord, ’18, making this the second year in a row that the program has won this award.

Last year, Cheyenne Fletcher, ’18, took home this award. This year, Fletcher was one of five Linfield athletes, including Oord, to be named to the All-NWC first team.

As a senior, Oord ranked in the NWC’s top 10 in every hitting percentage and led the conference in multiple categories: RBI (26), walks (22), and on-base percentage (.589). This spring she had a .462 hitting percentage with 55 hits, 33 runs scored, 12 doubles and seven home runs.

Aside from being an outstanding athlete, Oord is also a highly committed student. Her dedication to softball is unparalleled; she does not even begin to think about school work until after practice, which is generally over at about 9 p.m.

Her post-undergraduate dream is to go to graduate school to become an optometrist after taking a year off. She is an exercise science major and a member of Phi Sigma Sigma.

“Softball is a game of failure, so I think the biggest thing that has played a role into my success is staying positive. If I succeed 4 out of 10 times, I am considered great! Another thing that has helped me is to never be complacent. No matter if I went 4 for 4 or 0 for 4 I still came to practice the next week looking at how I can get better,” Oord said about how she has stayed so committed to the game of softball

As an athlete this season, she said her goal was to become the best player that she could possibly be and make the most out of playing her last year.

“Mel has grown so much as a person and player. She is a great teammate and friend that has come into her own here at Linfield. She pushes us every day to get better and I know I can count on her on and off the field,” teammate Jessica Woodruff, ’18, said.

The work that she has put in since her freshmen year has truly taken form for her after receiving the Player of the Year award and an All-NWC first team selection.
Oord’s number one take away from this season was to compete at her highest level possible. “If you practice every rep and play every out with the intent to compete, good things are going to happen,” she said.

“My advice for other student-athletes is enjoy the time you have playing your sport. It is such a blessing to be playing the sport I love at the collegiate level and the experiences aside from the win/loss records are something nobody can ever take away from you,” Oord said.

All in all, Oord has had a successful Linfield career not only in terms of academics, but also in sports. As a freshman, she was part of the team that went deep into the national playoffs but fell to Tufts, who ending up winning the championship that year.

One can only hope that Oord is able to top off her best season with a long championship run and possibly even the championship itself. After sweeping the conference championships, the
team is looking toward regional playoffs.

Softball has taught Oord not only how to be an athlete but has also taught her valuable life lessons. “Take advantage of the lessons that sports teach you – they are so applicable to the real world! The best advice I have received is from my coach Jackson: When things don’t go your way, you can do three things; laugh about it, cry about it, or be angry about it. And crying and anger won’t change the situation so we might as well just laugh!”