MURRIETA – For some athletes the jump from college star to successful professional athlete is a bridge too far. In 2023 former Murrieta Mesa starting pitcher Autumn Pease proved it wasn’t that daunting of a task for her.

After completing her collegiate eligibility at the University of Minnesota she signed with the Texas Smoke as Women’s Professional Fastpitch’ 10th pick of their 2023 draft class and proceeded to shine, winning their Pitcher of the Year award as announced on Tuesday, Aug. 8.

Pease led the Smoke with 90.2 regular season innings worked and was 7-3 in decisions with a 2.47 ERA as they won the regular season championship. She struck out 56 batters and allowed just 71 hits.

She also led the postseason tournament in innings thrown with 15 while recording a 2.33 ERA with an additional 11 strikeouts. As a team the Smoke won the inaugural league tournament after defeating USSSA Pride 14-2 on Sunday, Aug. 13, in game two of the best of three championship series in Oxford, Alabama. In that start Pease held the Pride to two runs while striking out seven, allowing two hits and also walking a pair in a complete game.

Murrieta Mesa graduate Autumn Pease throws a pitch in collegiate action for the University of Minnesota. Valley News/Minnesota Athletic Communications

In high school Pease was also the winning pitcher for Murrieta Mesa’s 2018 CIF-SS Division 3 championship team which defeated Hart on Zoey Clark’s walk off homer. Prior to her time at Minnesota, she also spent a season at Idaho State where she logged 121.2 innings of work with a 2.36 ERA earning co-freshman of the year honors in the Big Sky Conference along with second team All-Big Sky honors.

Derryl Trujillo can be reached via email at