Rachel Garcia

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Rachel Garcia
Biographical details
Born (1997-03-30) March 30, 1997 (age 26)
Lancaster, California
Playing career
2017–2021UCLA
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
2022San Diego State (Volunteer asst.)
2023UC San Diego (Pitching)
Accomplishments and honors
Awards
Medal record
Women's softball
Representing the  United States
Olympic Games
Silver medal – second place 2020 Tokyo Team
Pan American Games
Gold medal – first place 2019 Lima Team
Gold medal – first place 2023 Santiago Team

Rachel Lauren Garcia (born March 30, 1997) is an American former softball pitcher. She most recently served as the pitching coach for UC San Diego. She played college softball for the UCLA Bruins and led the Bruins to the 2019 Women's College World Series championship, where she was named the Most Outstanding Player.[1][2]

Garcia won the Honda Sports Award, USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year and NFCA National Player of the Year as the nation's best softball player in 2018 and 2019, and the Honda Cup as the nation's top female athlete in 2019 and 2021. Garcia represented Team USA at the 2020 Summer Olympics and won a silver medal.[3] She was named one of the NCAA's greatest all-time pitchers.[4] Garcia was also voted to the Greatest College Softball Team at the utility position by fans and experts.[5] Garcia was drafted first overall in the Athletes Unlimited Softball draft in 2021.[6]

Early life[edit]

Garcia attended Highland High School in Palmdale, California. During her senior season she posted a 26–2 record with a 0.20 earned run average and 418 strikeouts in 175 innings, adding 20 shutouts, including 10 no-hitters and six perfect games, and was named the 2015 Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year.[1]

Playing career[edit]

Freshmen year[edit]

Garcia was redshirted her freshman year due to a knee injury she suffered in high school. As a redshirt freshmen, she earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and NFCA National Freshman of the Year along with all-conference honors and a Second-Team All-American selection.[7] Garcia led all Pac-12 pitchers in strikeouts and was tied for first in saves, third in wins, fourth in innings, fifth in opposing batting average (.203) and sixth in ERA, while she had 14 complete games and was a part of 23 shutouts, including five solo shutouts. In addition to pitching, she was one of the team's best hitters as tallied a .325 batting average, eight homers and 29 RBI and had 15 multiple-hit games and eight multi-RBI contests.[1] She made her collegiate debut on February 10, collecting two hits in a game against the South Dakota Coyotes, while also throwing a run-rule shutout with seven strikeouts over the San Diego State Aztecs.

Garcia led the Bruins to a No. 5 seed at the World Series with her 23–9 win–loss record. In her debut at the Women's College World Series, Garcia pitched all of UCLA's games and left with a 1–1 record, falling in the second round. In her second game against Washington Huskies she struck out seven batters in a 1–0 loss.

Sophomore year[edit]

During her sophomore year, Garcia posted a 29–4 record, with a 1.31 ERA. Garcia led all Pac-12 pitchers in wins, strikeouts and opposing batting average, was third in innings pitched and fifth in ERA and achieved a career best in hits and batting average. She struck out 42 batters in 23 innings in four games at the Women's College World Series, and was named to the All-WCWS Team. Following an outstanding season, Garcia was named Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year, USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, NFCA National Player of the Year, and the Honda Sports Award for softball.[1][8][9]

Junior year[edit]

During her junior year, Garcia posted a 29–1 record, with a 1.14 ERA and 286 strikeouts in 202 innings. Garcia led the Bruins to the NCAA title completing four of five victories pitched, throwing a shutout, a 10-inning win, batting .333 and leading with eight RBIs, including defeating the No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners back-to-back in the finale series.[10] Following her performance she was named the Women's College World Series Most Outstanding Player.[11] She ended the year on a nine game win streak that would continue upon her return in the 2021 season.

Following her outstanding season, Garcia received numerous awards, including First Team All-Conference honors and the first player to earn both Pac-12 Conference Player and Pitcher of the Year awards in the same season.[12] She was also named NFCA National Pitcher of the Year, Softball America Player of the Year, ESPNW Softball Player of the Year, USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, Honda Sports Award for softball, Honda-Broderick Cup as the Female Athlete of the Year and a First-Team All-American.[13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20]

Senior year[edit]

Garcia missed the first month of the 2021 season due to an injury. She then went on to win 16 consecutive decisions for a 25 game win streak dating back to the 2019 season. She finished the regular season with an undefeated 14–0 record, a nation-leading 0.60 ERA, two saves and 124 strikeouts in 94 innings. She also ranked third in the Pac-12 with a .504 on-base percentage and fourth with a .756 slugging percentage while launching a conference-high seven home runs in Pac-12 play. She finished the year with an 18–3 record, with seven shutouts, 183 strikeouts and 29 walks in 136+13 innings.[1]

Garcia ended the year with a return to the Women's College World Series for the fourth consecutive year, where UCLA was eliminated by Oklahoma. During the game she posted seven strikeouts, two hits, and drove in all the Bruins runs by hitting a home run in her final appearance. Following an outstanding season, she was named NFCA National Player of the Year, Pac-12 Player of the Year for the third consecutive year, D1Softball two-way player of the year, first-team all Pac-12, and a first-team All-American.[21] She also was named a finalist for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, and won the Senior CLASS Award, Honda Sports Award for softball, and named Honda-Broderick Cup winner, becoming the first athlete to win back-to-back honors outright.[22][23][24][25]

International career[edit]

Garcia saw limited playing time on the Team USA "Stand Beside Her" tour that was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March, 2020. She later returned in 2021 after her college eligibility was completed.

Garcia returned to UCLA for her final collegiate year before joining the United States women's national softball team prior to the rescheduled Olympics in July, 2021.[26] She represented Team USA at the 2020 Summer Olympics, where she made two appearances as a pinch-hitter in six games and won a silver medal.[27][28][29]

On August 31, 2023, Garcia was named to the U.S. women's national team for the 2023 Pan American Games.[30]

Coaching career[edit]

On January 7, 2022, Garcia was named a volunteer assistant coach for the San Diego State Aztecs softball team for the 2022 season.[31]

On October 7, 2022, Garcia was named pitching coach for the UC San Diego Tritons softball team for the 2023 season.[32]

Statistics[edit]

UCLA Bruins
YEAR G AB R H BA RBI HR 3B 2B TB SLG BB SO SB
2017 60 169 17 55 .325 29 8 0 12 91 .538% 21 14 0
2018 61 174 29 59 .339 54 11 0 6 98 .563% 23 26 0
2019 61 172 34 59 .343 57 11 1 9 103 .588% 35 20 0
2021 45 120 35 41 .341 35 13 0 5 85 .708% 30 20 0
TOTALS 227 635 103 214 .337 175 43 1 32 377 .593% 109 80 0
YEAR W L GP GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER BB SO ERA WHIP
2017 23 9 45 25 14 5 3 202.2 152 69 54 52 212 1.87 1.01
2018 29 4 39 27 21 9 2 208.0 104 48 39 48 315 1.31 0.73
2019 29 1 36 25 19 7 4 202.0 117 40 33 43 286 1.14 0.79
2021 18 3 29 18 12 7 2 136.1 91 35 27 29 183 1.39 0.88
TOTALS 99 17 149 95 66 28 11 749.0 464 192 153 172 996 1.43 0.85
Team USA
YEAR W L GP GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER BB SO ERA WHIP
2020 1 0 4 0 0 0 0 7.0 6 2 2 1 7 2.00 1.00
2021 1 0 4 2 0 0 0 11.1 10 7 6 5 8 3.78 1.35
TOTALS 2 0 8 2 0 0 0 18.1 16 9 8 6 15 3.09 1.21
YEAR G AB R H BA RBI HR 3B 2B TB SLG BB SO SB
2020 2 5 0 2 .400 2 0 0 0 2 .400% 3 1 0
2021 5 12 2 3 .250 2 2 0 0 9 .750% 4 1 0
Olympics 2 2 0 0 .000 0 0 0 0 0 .000% 0 0 0
TOTAL 9 19 2 5 .263 4 2 0 0 11 .579% 7 2 0

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Rachel Garcia Biography". uclabruins.com. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  2. ^ "Rachel Garcia Bio". teamusa.org. Archived from the original on April 29, 2015. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  3. ^ "2020 U.S. Olympic Softball Team". teamusa.org. Archived from the original on October 7, 2019. Retrieved October 7, 2019.
  4. ^ "The 11 Best College Softball Pitchers of All Time". NCAA.com. August 18, 2020. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  5. ^ Hays, Graham (June 9, 2020). "Lauren Chamberlain, Jessica Mendoza Voted to ESPN's Greatest All-Time College Softball Team". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  6. ^ "Athletes Unlimited Softball College Draft: Get to know the 12 draftees". auprosports.com. May 10, 2021. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  7. ^ "UCLA's Garcia named 2017 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year". NFCA.org. May 30, 2017. Retrieved May 27, 2021.
  8. ^ "UCLA's Garcia tabbed 2018 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year". NFCA.org. May 30, 2018. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  9. ^ "UCLA's Garcia tabbed 2018 Schutt Sports / NFCA Division I National Player of the Year". NFCA.org. June 7, 2018. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  10. ^ "UCLA WCWS Stats". NCAA.org. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  11. ^ Nguyen, Thuc Nhi (June 4, 2019). "UCLA softball holds off Oklahoma to win NCAA title in walk-off fashion". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  12. ^ DeMeyer, Tess (June 24, 2019). "UCLA softball star Rachel Garcia named Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year". USA Today. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  13. ^ "UCLA wins 2019 Women's College World Series against Oklahoma on Kinsley Washington's walk-off single". NCAA.com. June 4, 2019. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  14. ^ "2019 NCAA Player of the Year: Rachel Garcia". softballamerica.com. May 29, 2019. Retrieved June 21, 2021.
  15. ^ "Rachel Garcia of UCLA Named Honda Sport Award Winner for Softball". collegiatewomensportsawards.com. June 11, 2018. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
  16. ^ "Honda Cup Winner Rachel Garcia to be Featured on the Honda Float at the 131st Rose Parade®". collegiatewomensportsawards.com. December 19, 2019. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  17. ^ "Rachel Garcia Wins 2019 Honda Cup". uclabruins.com. June 24, 2019. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  18. ^ "Back-to-Back: Rachel Garcia Again Wins USA Softball Player of the Year". uclabruins.com. May 28, 2019. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  19. ^ "Career Season Records" (PDF). uclabruins.com. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  20. ^ "UCLA's Garcia named 2019 Schutt Sports / NFCA DI National Pitcher of the Year". NFCA.org. June 6, 2019. Retrieved May 8, 2021.
  21. ^ "Pac-12 announces 2021 softball All-Conference honors". pac-12.com. May 16, 2021. Retrieved May 16, 2021.
  22. ^ "UCLA's Rachel Garcia Wins 2021 Senior CLASS Award® for Softball". SeniorClassAward.com. Premier Sports Management. June 2, 2021. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
  23. ^ "Alo, Garcia, Plain finalists for 2021 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year". NFCA.org. May 20, 2021. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  24. ^ "UCLA's Garcia, Alabama's Fouts garner Schutt Sports / NFCA DI postseason honors". nfca.org. June 11, 2021. Retrieved June 11, 2021.
  25. ^ "Garcia Earns Back-to-Back Honda Cup; Named Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year". collegiatewomensportsawards.com. June 28, 2021. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
  26. ^ "UCLA softball's Rachel Garcia, Bubba Nickles to Return for Senior Seasons". Daily News. May 7, 2020. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  27. ^ "United States".
  28. ^ "JPN 2, USA 0". olympicssoftball.wbsc.org. July 27, 2021. Retrieved July 27, 2021.
  29. ^ "Rachel Garcia". olympicssoftball.wbsc.org. July 27, 2021. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
  30. ^ "USA Softball announces 16-player Women's National Team roster set to represent Team USA at 2023 Pan American Games". usasoftball.com. August 31, 2023. Retrieved September 8, 2023.
  31. ^ McLeod, Justin (January 7, 2022). "College Softball: Rachel Garcia to Begin College Coaching Career at San Diego State". extrainningsoftball.com. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
  32. ^ "Softball Announces Former UCLA Standout Rachel Garcia Will Join Staff". ucsdtritons.com. October 7, 2022. Retrieved October 7, 2022.

External links[edit]