MAC Announces Softball Players and Pitchers of the Week

Updated 4/15/2013

 

MAC East Player of the Week
Jenna Modic, Miami, DP/P*
Freshman, Poland, Ohio/Poland Seminary
Modic had the best offensive week of her young career, recording hits in all six games while batting .522 (12-for-23). She drove in a team best eight RBI, while recording an on base percentage of .542 and a slugging percentage of .826. Modic came up huge in Miami’s doubleheader sweep of Ohio on Friday. She drove in a total of five RBI, including a three-run home run in the nightcap, as well as the only run in a 1-0 victory in the opener. She finished with four doubles, one home run and 19 total bases on the week, recording multiple bases in every game played.
 
MAC East Co-Pitchers of the Week
Tori Speckman, Buffalo, P
Junior, Alvin, Texas
Junior Tori Speckman had an unbelievable week for Buffalo, leading the Bulls to a 4-2 record during six road games.  Speckman went 3-1, over five appearances, not allowing a run until the seventh inning of her final appearance against Toledo on Sunday afternoon.  Prior to that, Speckman had a streak of 27 straight innings pitched this past week without allowing a run.  Even more impressive was the fact that Speckman was pitching mostly with just one and two run leads through out the week.  She finished the stretch with a miniscule ERA of 0.24, allowing just one earned run to score.  She also struck out 23 batters, while allowing a WHIP of under 1.00 at 0.92.  She lowered her team-leading ERA to 2.21 and struck out a team-high 77 batters.
 
Emma Johnson, Kent State, P
Junior, Groveport, Ohio/Groveport Madison
Emma Johnson improved her record to 14-7 overall following clutch performances on April 14 in both ends of a doubleheader as Kent State earned a crucial sweep at Bowling Green to move into a first place tie with Miami (Ohio) in the MAC East.  Johnson pitched a complete game shutout in the opener, 1-0, allowing just three hits over seven innings while striking out 12 and walking none.  She then tossed two no-hit innings of relief in the second game to earn her second save of the season as Kent State won, 5-1.  Johnson struck out five and walked one.  In four games this week, Johnson went 3-0 with one save and a 1.32 earned run average over 21.2 innings of work.  She struck out 36 and walked just four.  Opposing batters found it difficult to reach base as Johnson posted a 0.57 WHIP.
 
MAC West Player of the Week
Jennifer Gilbert, Ball State, LF
Junior, McKinney, Texas/McKinney
It was a record-setting week for Ball State junior left fielder Jennifer Gilbert … In leading the team with a .588 (10-for17) batting average over five games, Gilbert blasted six home runs to raise her season total to 19 which is a Ball State single-season record and ties the Mid-American Conference single-season mark set by Kelli Metzger of Akron in 1999 … The six home runs also moved her career total to 52, making her just the second player in MAC history to blast 50 career home runs … In addition, with her third career grand slam in the eighth inning of game two of Friday’s doubleheader at Akron, Gilbert became the MAC’s all-time career RBI leader ... Over the five games, Gilbert drove in 16 RBI to raise her career total to 173 which is six better than the previous league standard of 167 set by Metzger from 1996-99 … With her eight runs score over the five games, Gilbert raised her career total to 150 which moves her into second in program history and third in league annals in that category … Gilbert’s two-run home run in the first game at Akron Friday drove in the game-winning run, while her two-run blast in the seventh inning of the nightcap at Akron forced extra innings … Gilbert would then blast a grand slam in the eighth inning to give BSU complete control of the game … Gilbert’s three-run home run in the sixth inning at Ohio Saturday drove in the game-winning run.
 
MAC West Co-Pitchers of the Week
Nicole Steinbach, Ball State, P
Freshman, Merrillville, Ind./Andrean
Nicole Steinbach picked up three Mid-American Conference wins for the Cardinals over the weekend to improve to 7-0 in league games this season … She opened the week by collecting a complete game shutout victory, her fifth of the season and second in MAC play, over Akron … She limited the Zips to just two hits and three walks over seven innings, while throwing five strikeouts …  She would enter the second game of Friday’s doubleheader at Akron with one out in the sixth inning and proceed the shut the Zips down for 2.2 more innings to pick up her second win of the day … As Ball State tallied seven runs over the final two innings to force extra innings and eventually win the game, Steinbach held the Akron offense to just one hit over the final 2.2 in which she also struck out a pair of batters … Steinbach picked up her second complete game of the weekend Saturday, helping the Cardinals get past Ohio by a score of 9-7.
 
Kara Dornbos, Central Michigan, P
Senior, Hudsonville, Mich./Unity Christian
Senior Kara Dornbos continues to move up the Central Michigan record books with each outing. After going 2-0 this weekend in two complete games, Dornbos is fifth in Chippewa history with 60 career complete games. Against Western Michigan on Sunday, April 14, she pitched her fourth shutout of the season and gave up only four hits. In two appearances, Dornbos walked one batter and struck out seven. She now has eight wins in 17 appearances and a season ERA of 2.03.
 
 
Other Nominees:
Alissa Birkhimer, Akron, 1B
Senior, Hebron, Ohio/Lakewood
Alissa Birkhimer had a career weekend at the plate en route to leading Akron to three big wins. The senior drilled a two-RBI double and was 2-for-2 in game two against Cleveland State to highlight a four-run second inning for UA and help give head coach Julie Jones her 400th career victory. In the Zips’ weekend series vs. East Division leader Miami, Birkhimer hit .750 with a 2.500 slugging percentage, picking up six RBI on two swings courtesy of a pair of home runs – including her first career grand slam. Birkhimer also worked nine walks without striking out once in 21 plate appearances over the course of last week. She has now earned 20 free passes this season.
 
Erin Seiler, Akron, P
Freshman, Bowling Green, Ohio/Toledo Central Catholic
The MAC leader in innings pitched, Akron’s freshman ace Erin Seiler picked up a pair of complete-game victories and her first career save last week. Her most impressive performance came just a day after being hit with a line drive that forced her to end the day early in game one against Ball State. Seiler turned around to start against Miami on Saturday, tossing all seven innings and scattering just four hits without a walk. Entering the weekend, Seiler was ranked 12th in the nation in walks allowed per seven innings at 1.01. 
 
Paige Berger, Bowling Green, 1B
Senior, Rootstown, Ohio/Rootstown
Senior Paige Berger once again had a strong offensive week, collecting 11 hits in 19 at bats for a team-best .579 batting average. Berger led the Falcons with a .632 slugging percentage, while also pacing the Orange and Brown with an impressive .619 on-base percentage. Berger helped the Falcons to a 3-3 record, including a sweep of Valparaiso, last year’s NCAA Regional representative. Her weekly highlights included a 3-for-3 day against Buffalo, and a 3-for-4 day against Valparaiso in a 6-3 win. Berger also led Bowling Green with 12 total bases and was 1-for-1 in stolen base attempts.
 
Jamie Kertes, Bowling Green, P
Sophomore, Carnegie, Pa./Bishop Canevin
Sophomore Jamie Kertes helped the Falcons to a 3-3 record this past week, earning an individual record of 2-2 with a save. Kertes led Bowling Green with 29.2 innings pitched, allowing just two earned runs over that span for an impressive 0.47 ERA. Kertes also struck out 23 batters over the six-game set, while allowing just one walk. Kertes also pitched tree complete games, striking out four or more batters on four different occasions. 
 
Kara Dornbos, Central Michigan, P
Senior, Hudsonville, Mich./Unity Christian
Senior Kara Dornbos continues to move up the Central Michigan record books with each outing. After going 2-0 this weekend in two complete games, Dornbos is fifth in Chippewa history with 60 career complete games. Against Western Michigan on Sunday, April 14, she pitched her fourth shutout of the season and gave up only four hits. In two appearances, Dornbos walked one batter and struck out seven. She now has eight wins in 17 appearances and a season ERA of 2.03.
 
Macy Merchant, Central Michigan, CF
Senior, Wayland, Mich./Wayland
Senior Macy Merchant led Central Michigan with a .400 batting average over the weekend and six hits. Her six runs against Northern Illinois and Western Michigan led the Chippewas and brought her season total to 26. She stole three bases this weekend, moving her into a tie for fourth in program history with 67 over her four years. Merchant was the only Chippewa this weekend to hit both a double and triple. She finished the four games this week with one RBI and no strikeouts.
 
Lauren Balodis, Kent State, 1B
Senior, North Royalton, Ohio/North Royalton
Lauren Balodis had a big week at the plate as Kent State went 4-1 in games in which Balodis appeared, including the doubleheader sweep at Bowling Green on April 14 that put the Golden Flashes into a first place tie with Miami (Ohio) atop the MAC East.  Balodis was excellent in the doubleheader split at Toledo on April 12, going 3 for 5 with three doubles and four RBI in the two games.  Against Robert Morris, a 4-3 win, Baldois clubbed a double and home run in five at bats.  In five games overall, Balodis batted .400 with four doubles, a home run and five RBI.  Additionally, Balodis scored three runs and totaled 13 bases for an .867 slugging percentage.  A slick fielding first baseman, Balodis was perfect in the field with 18 putouts and an assist in 19 chances.
 
Emma Johnson, Kent State, P
Junior, Groveport, Ohio/Groveport Madison
Emma Johnson improved her record to 14-7 overall following clutch performances on April 14 in both ends of a doubleheader as Kent State earned a crucial sweep at Bowling Green to move into a first place tie with Miami (Ohio) in the MAC East.  Johnson pitched a complete game shutout in the opener, 1-0, allowing just three hits over seven innings while striking out 12 and walking none.  She then tossed two no-hit innings of relief in the second game to earn her second save of the season as Kent State won, 5-1.  Johnson struck out five and walked one.  In four games this week, Johnson went 3-0 with one save and a 1.32 earned run average over 21.2 innings of work.  She struck out 36 and walked just four.  Opposing batters found it difficult to reach base as Johnson posted a 0.57 WHIP.
 
Jenna Modic, Miami, DP/P*
Freshman, Poland, Ohio/Poland Seminary
Pitcher: Modic led Miami in the circle this week, finishing with a 2-1 record with a 3.21 ERA in 24.0 innings pitched. She threw her first career shutout in the RedHawks’ 1-0 win over Ohio on Friday, allowing only six hits. She also earned the victory in relief in the nightcap of that doubleheader. Modic struck out 14 batters in five games, and had a WHIP of 1.21.
 
Erika Oswald, Northern Illinois, C
Junior, Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South
Erika Oswald batted .545 in four games for the Huskies this week, well above her season batting average of .260. Oswald went 6-for-11 on the week, including a double and a home run, driving in five runs and scoring five. She also tallied two stolen bases on the week. The Glenview, Ill. native played a key role in NIU’s 6-3 victory over Eastern Michigan to snap an eight-game losing streak. She gave NIU a 4-3 lead on a two-RBI single. She went 1-for-2 with a walk, two RBIs and two runs scored in the Huskies first win of the Eagles series. Oswald went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored in the Huskies’ 8-7 win over Eastern Michigan in the series finale.
 
Lauren Gellerman, Ohio, C
Senior, San Diego, Calif./Westview
Lauren was a bright spot in an otherwise tough week for the Ohio University softball team, leading the Bobcats in hits (6), runs scored (4), home runs (3), and total bases (16). The senior got off to a great start against Ohio State during a Tuesday doubleheader, collecting three hits—all of which were home runs—in two games against the Buckeyes. During this two-game series, Gellerman went 3-4 (.750), scored three runs, drove in three runs, and slugged at a rate of 3.000. Following a difficult series against Miami, Gellerman returned to form against Ball State on Saturday and Sunday, collecting three total hits—one of which was a double—in eight at bats. Against the Cardinals, Gellerman slugged at a rate of .500.  Gellerman’s three home runs on the week were a big part of Ohio moving into second place all-time in the MAC single season home run record book. Through 39 games this season, the Bobcats have hit a program-record 59 home runs.
 
Loren Nagy, Western Michigan, 1B
Freshman, Kalamazoo, Mich./Mattawan
Loren Nagy had her best single week of the season, slugging over 1.000 in two out of the four MAC games.  Against Eastern Michigan, she racked up seven RBIs with six coming in one game.  She went 2-for-4 in WMU’s 7-2 win, driving in six of WMU’s seven runs.  Her two hits both went for extra bases as she hit a two-RBI double and her first career grand slam to take the Broncos’ lead from 3-2 to 7-2.  Her lone hit in the series finale against Central Michigan was her second home run of the weekend, driving in two more runs on the weekend.  She led the team with nine RBIs in MAC play this weekend as no one else on the team had more than one.  She is now tied for the team lead in home runs (4) and ranks second on the team with 21 RBIs.
 
Mackenzie Shepeck, Western Michigan, P
Sophomore, Gladstone, Mich./Gladstone
Mackenzie Shepeck worked three games in relief, giving up zero earned runs or runs of any kind in two outings, including against No. 12 Michigan.  Against Michigan, Shepeck came into a game where the Wolverines jumped out to an early commanding lead and she shut the Wolverines down, allowing just five hits and one walk over the course of 3.1 innings.  Against EMU, Shepeck came into a game where WMU held a slight lead and allowed the Eagles only two hits over 4.0 innings, which allowed the Broncos to build their lead from one to five runs.  Against two MAC opponents, she allowed a batting average of .207 when she was in the circle.  For the week, she had a 1.91 ERA and picked up a conference win for the Broncos.
 
 
*Jenna Modic was nominated as Miami's Player and Pitcher of the Week.