Lombardi Adds Samaria Diaz to Pitching Staff

EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon softball head coach Melyssa Lombardi added another impact arm to the Ducks’ 2020 pitching staff on Wednesday with the signing of right-hander Samaria Diaz, the 2019 WAC pitcher of the year.

Diaz will join the Ducks as a graduate transfer after spending her first three seasons at New Mexico State. Diaz is the second big addition this week for the Ducks, who signed 2019 Big West pitcher of the year Brooke Yanez on Monday.

“Samaria will have a great impact on our program,” said Lombardi. “She is a proven pitcher who knows how to win, and she will bring valuable experience to this young team. I like how hard Samaria throws the ball and the movement that comes along with it. I am really looking forward to seeing her in action this coming season.”

Diaz enjoyed a breakout year as a junior in 2019, earning conference pitcher of the year honors after going 16-9 with a 2.10 ERA and 228 strikeouts across 177.0 innings pitched. An all-WAC first team and NFCA all-region third team selection, Diaz was tied for 28th nationally in strikeouts and ranked 19th in strikeouts per seven innings (9.0). She threw 16 complete games and eight shutouts, and also tied for seventh in the country with seven saves.

The West Covina, Calif., native was especially stellar in a game against California last season, allowing just one earned run over 10.0 innings with seven strikeouts and just one walk while leading her team to an extra-inning win. In her career, Diaz owns a 38-26 record with a 3.39 ERA and 386 strikeouts in 412.2 innings pitched.
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A graduate from Bishop Amat High School, Diaz went 13-2 with a 0.93 ERA and 125 strikeouts in 112.2 innings as a senior to wrap up a terrific prep career. She was awarded both the CIF Southern Section Award and the Athlete/Academic Award for having a 3.0 or higher GPA three times throughout her high school career.

Diaz will join Yanez, rising junior Jordan Dail and highly-touted freshman Makenna Kliethermes on the Ducks’ 2020 pitching staff, providing welcome depth after Dail carried the load with 248.0 innings pitched in 2019.

“I am thrilled with our pitching staff,” said Lombardi. “Each of them have a different look on the mound. They all know how to compete and will complement each other very well.”