• Voted team’s Pitcher of Year in 2007 and ‘06
• Tabbed Pac-10 Pitcher of Week on 3/27/07 after wins over Idaho State and Utah Valley
• Ranks top 10 for UO in season victories (6th, 21), strikeouts (10th, 114), starts (9th, 34), appearances (9th, 40) and complete games (10th, 23).
• Ranks top 10 all-time for UO in career shutouts (6th, 12), strikeouts (8th, 281), games (8th, 105), complete games (9th, 37) and innings (9th, 455)
• In ‘08, led team in ERA (2.31), and ranked second on squad (and is top returnee in ‘09) in wins (12), innings (139.1), strikeouts (87) and starts (22).
• Hurled UO’s 17th no-hitter in 8-0 five-inning win over Idaho State as junior at Cascade Clash (3/23/08).
2008 (JUNIOR SEASON)
Enters senior season ranked top 10 on Oregon career charts in shutouts (sixth, 12), wins (eighth, 41), strikeouts (eighth, 281), games (eighth, 105), complete games (ninth, 37) and innings (ninth, 455). Team’s two-time Pitcher of Year again was again a frequently-called upon option as a junior, and ranked second on team in several pitching categories behind one of UO’s greatest pitchers, Alicia Cook, in wins (11), appearances (31), starts (21), complete games (10), shutouts (3), innings (129.2) and strikeouts (86). At home in March’s Cascade Clash, authored first four innings of five-inning, 8-0 no-hitter vs. Idaho State. Also allowed only one hit in five-inning, 10-0 shutout of returning NCAA qualifier Mississippi Valley State. Surrendered two hits in first inning in conference opener at then-No. 1 UCLA, then held Bruins hitless the remaining five innings and forced 14 consecutive ground ball outs. In February and March, won a team season-best nine straight games and also had a save. Her 2-0 Cascade Clash shutout of UC Davis helped UO to a 8-0 record in its home tourney over spring break. Her other shutout of season came vs. San Diego (2-0), and two more complete game blankings in ‘09 will put her in a tie for fifth all-time for Ducks. Registered season-high six strikeouts in wins vs. Idaho State (8-0), UNLV (7-1, two-hitter) and Southern Utah (10-6). Immediately after the team’s early May home win over then-No. 22 California, accepted a marriage proposal from her boyfriend next to the dugout. On defense, had a .976 fielding mark, one putout and 39 assists.
2007 (SOPHOMORE SEASON)
After one of the busiest campaigns by a Duck hurler in recent memory, was voted by her teammates as UO’s Pitcher of the Year. Posted top-10 all-time season marks among Duck pitchers in victories (sixth, 21), strikeouts (ninth, 114), starts (ninth, 34), appearances (ninth, 40) and complete games (10th, 23). Led Ducks in innings pitched (202), starts (34), appearances (40), and ranked second in wins (21), strikeouts (125), ERA (2.87) and opposing batting average (.237). Was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week on March 27 after stringing together three consecutive wins and allowed only one combined earned run vs. Idaho State and Utah Valley State. Gave up only one hit and struck out two in six innings in 4-3 win vs. Oregon State on April 7 to help win Civil War season series. From March 24 - April 29, logged 97 innings of work as fellow starter Alicia Cook returned from an illness, and ultimately made 15 Pac-10 starts (compared to four for Cook). In the deciding game of the Civil War Cup, pitched a complete game victory in a 6-5 win over Oregon State, getting out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the seventh. Earned her 19th victory of the season holding Stanford scoreless in five innings during an 8-0 win on March 31. Also pitched all seven innings in a 7-1 victory over then-No. 24 Hawai’i on March 1 and held the Wahine to one run on one hit. Also at the Pepsi Malihini Kipa Aloha Tournament, struck out a season-high nine and did not walk a batter in a 6-0 shutout of then-No. 23 Georgia in the tourney championship.
2006 (FRESHMAN SEASON)
Finished her freshman season as the team’s second-best pitcher by all accounts. Ranked second in wins (8), ERA (2.60), strikeouts (80) and innings (113.0) in 31 appearances and 15 starts. Got her collegiate career off to a great start, going 15.2 innings in her first six appearances with an ERA of 0.89 and 19 strikeouts. Her only decision in that stretch was a win against Hawaii on February 18, when she went five innings, allowed one run on two hits and struck out a season-high seven. In a two-day span she pitched 19.2 innings, allowed just two earned runs and struck out 11 on March 4 and 5. Less than a month later, allowed just two earned runs in four straight relief appearances, with 13 strikeouts in her 18 innings from March 4 through April 4. Finished the year strong (between April 29 and May 7), and allowed no earned runs and had 12 strikeouts in 14.1 innings over five games, including two starts. On May 2 against Santa Clara, Rice went five scoreless innings and struck out six to earn her sixth win of the season. In her final game of the year, Rice surrendered just one hit and allowed no runs in four innings against the No. 7 Arizona State Sun Devils. She finished the year with an 8-5 record and best win-percentage on the team.
The two-time first-team all-state pitcher guided Colville to the league championship and a fifth-place finish at state tournament in 2004. The pitcher/first baseman finished her senior season with 211 strikeouts (108 in league play) and walked just seven batters as Colville won the league championship for the third straight season. Played for the 18U LadyHawks Gold ASA team, which finished first at the regional championships in 2004. Rice also earned first-team all-league honors in 2003 as Colville won the league title and was a second-team all-league honoree in 2002. A three-time league MVP (2003, 2004, 2005), she won the league/district title all four seasons. Also played volleyball and basketball.
Born Melissa J. Rice on June 16, 1987 in Spokane, Wash. Major: Sociology. Parents are Mark and Margaret Rice. Two brothers, Eric and Scotty. Scotty, her twin, is a middle linebacker at Carroll College (Mont.), and Eric was a quarterback at Eastern Washington.
Year ERA W-L APP GS CG SHO/CBO SV IP H R ER BB SO
2006 2.60 8-5 31 15 4 1/1 0 113 108 53 42 35 80
2007 2.86 21-14 40 34 23 8/2 0 202.7 181 104 83 84 114
2008 2.31 12-11 34 22 10 3/4 1 139.1 132 67 46 41 87
Totals 2.59 41-30 105 71 37 12/7 1 454.8 421 224 171 160 281
Nicknames: Mel, Liss, Meliss.
Favorite Color: Pink.
Favorite Stuffed Animal: My Build-a-bear.
Pets: Bogues and Smokey (cats).
Favorite Saying/Motto: "Never frown, you never know who's falling in love with your smile!"
Favorite Elite Softball Player: Cat Osterman.
If I didn't play softball, I would play in: Basketball.
If I could go back in time, I'd go to: My childhood.
Greatest Accomplishment: Getting an education at a great university while playing in the Pac-10 conference.
Personal Heroes: My parents.
When I was a Little Kid I Wanted to be a: Teacher.
Favorite College Class: Practicum work at Holt Elementary.
Intended Career: Elementary Education.
If I Could Have Dinner With Anybody: George W. Bush, Mother Teresa, and Ellen DeGeneres.
First Car: Daewoo 2000.
Favorite Place on Campus: Howe Field.
Favorite Place to take Visitors to Eugene: Treatment Center or Autzen
Any Previous/Current Volunteer Experience: Special Olympics.
Favorite Entree: Lasagna.
Favorite Ice Cream: Cookie Dough.
Favorite Snack: Chex Mix.
Favorite Pizza Toppings: Canadian Bacon, Pineapple.
Favorite Drink: Diet Pepsi.
Favorite Movie: The Notebook.
Favorite Actor: Denzel Washington.
Favorite Actress: Rachel McAdams.
Favorite TV Comedy: Scrubs.
Favorite TV Reality Show: Biggest Loser.
Favorite Singer: Christina Aguilera.
Favorite Book: Anything by Nicholas Sparks or James Patterson.
Favorite Board Game: Mad Gab.
Favorite Video Game: Rock Band.
I Chose Oregon Because: It was the right place for me.
Coolest Howe Field Moments: My fiancee proposing after a game / my Dad singing the national anthem.
First Athletic Award When You Were a Little Kid: Top Defensive Player.
Funniest Person on Team: Ashley Kivett.
Biggest Fan: My family and my fiancee, Buddy.