Elish wins Player of the Year, Jefferson picks up All-American honors in shortened season

Seth Forman

After all the impressive feats senior pitcher Miranda Elish performed this season to lead the Texas Longhorns softball program to a 24–3 start, her list of accolades just got a little bigger as she was named Softball America’s 2020 Shortened Season National Player of the Year.

Prior to the untimely end of the season, Elish threw 84 innings and 96 strikeouts and an astounding 47 hits over 15 games. The pinnacle of Elish’s 2020 season came against New Mexico, her final game before the season was canceled. That night, Elish became the fourth player in Texas history to throw a perfect game in just 87 pitches with no runners on base.

“Miranda Elish has been there, done that, and I think that, you know, she has definitely evolved into a pitcher now,” Texas head coach Mike White said. “When she first came in, she was more of a thrower. Now she’s a pitcher. She’s one of the best players in the country for a reason … She goes out there and does her job. She’s on a mission.”

But Elish didn’t win Player of the Year solely from her phenomenal performances in the circle. At the plate, Elish had the fourth-highest batting average in the Longhorns’ starting rotation at .370 and managed four home runs to go with it. She finished the shortened season with 14 runs and 19 RBIs.

Junior infielder Janae Jefferson also received honors as a Softball America second-team All-American for her exceptional 2020 performance. Jefferson led the Horns with a .554 batting average, 30 runs, 10 stolen bases and 41 hits.