MAC Announces Softball Players and Pitchers of the Week

Updated 4/19/2011
East Division Pitcher of the Week
Jessica Simpson, Miami Jr., North Canton, Ohio/Hoover
Simpson earned three victories and another two shutouts this week. She allowed only five hits in a 1-0 win over Wright State on Wednesday. She shutout Eastern Michigan on two hits on Saturday. She allowed only two earned runs in each of her other appearances on the week. Simpson struck out eight batters against Wright State, Central Michigan (in game one of doubleheader) during Saturday's Eastern Michigan game. Batters only hit .224 against her during the week.

West Division Pitcher of the Week
Meredith Whitney, Western Michigan Jr., Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain
Whitney went 3-1 this past week with her only loss coming at No. 2 Michigan. She struck out 23 batters in 25.0 innings of work and held the opposition to a .247 batting average. She walked only eight batters in four complete games, including one shutout victory.

East Division Player of the Week
Olivia Hegedus, Akron Sr., OF, Perrysburg, Ohio/Perrysburg
Akron senior Olivia Hegedus continues to have the best season of her career, going 6-for-14 over six games with four homers and nine RBI. Three of those long balls came in MAC play on the road, and she now has 12 for the season. She bombed solo shots against Western Michigan and Northern Illinois and added a 2-run blast in game one at NIU, giving her a three-game home run hitting streak. She now leads the team with a .689 slugging percentage and 29 total RBI.

West Division Co-Player of the Week
Amanda Montalto, Ball State Jr., C, Las Vegas, Nev./Palo Verde
Junior catcher Amanda Montalto (Las Vegas, Nev./Palo Verde) had an absolutely astounding week for Ball State as she hit 6-for-12 and recorded an amazing 1.250 on base percentage, including three home runs and eight RBI against Wright State and Central Michigan. In the Cardinals' 9-0 victory versus the Raiders, Montalto blasted her seventh homer of the season to right center field in the top of the first, in addition to posting two home runs against the Chippewas, moving into sole possession of first place in career home runs in program history.

Lexi Jager, Western Michigan Sr., OF, Kalamazoo, Mich./Comstock
Jager was 3-for-7 with two runs scored and two RBIs against Ohio during a week where she hit .529, scoring six runs and recording five RBIs. She also hit for extra bases three times, a double, a triple and her program record 21st career home, en route to slugging .882.


Additional Nominees
Kim Mazzapica, Ball State, Jr., Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake
Junior pitcher Kim Mazzapica (Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake) went 1-0 on the week in three appearances against Wright State and Mid-American Conference foes Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan. She posted a 1.80 ERA in 11.2 innings of work, holding her opponents to just a .205 batting average, in addition to fanning seven batters overall. Picking up a huge win against the Eagles Friday, she allowed just two hits and struck out four batters to improve to 5-1 on the season.

Hannah Fulk, Bowling Green, So., SS, Jeromesville, Ohio/Hillsdale
Hannah Fulk hit .417 in four games this week, leading the Falcons with a 3-for-3 performance with three runs scored in the team's win over Toledo. Fulk opened the week by going 2-for-3 with a double and a stolen base in the opening game against #24 Notre Dame. Coming off of a heart-breaking 6-4 loss to Toledo in game one of Sunday's doubleheader, Fulk led off an inning three times, picking up singles each team and eventually coming around to score as the Falcons split the doubleheader with a 10-2 win.

Brittini Merchant, Central Michigan, Sr., 2B, Wayland, Mich/Wayland
Senior Brittini Merchant had two hits in each of CMU's four conference games last week, going 8-for-17 for a .471 average on the week. The Wayland, Mich., native kicked off the series opener versus Miami, going 2-for-3 with an RBI before going 2-for-4 in game two. In the opener versus Ball State, Merchant went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored, before once again going 2-for-4 in the series finale. In the opener versus Miami, Merchant's fifth-inning single drove in her sister, Macy, breaking a 3-3 tie and would hold as the game-winning run.

Nellie Coquillard, Eastern Michigan, So., 2B, Niles, Mich. / Niles
Coquillard maintained a .400 clip through six games last week to lead the Eagles offensively with a 6-for-15 effort at the dish. In the Eagles' Mid-American Conference matchup against Miami on April 17, Coquillard was 3-for-4 in the contest, highlighted by her solo shot to dead center field for her third round-tripper of the season. The Niles, Mich. native also registered an on-base percentage of .500 and pounded out a slugging percentage of .600 while knocking in three runs for the Green and White, scoring twice and only striking out once in 18 appearances.

Lauren Wells, Eastern Michigan, Fr., Lowell, Ind. / Lowell
Wells went 1-1 last week after posting a 2.28 earned run average in 15.1 innings of work for the Eagles, fanning 16, including her seven-strikeout performance against Ball State on April 15. The freshman hurler also held opponents to just five earned runs in 65 batters faced, while holding hitters to just 14 hits for a .246 clip.

Daniela Torres, Miami, Jr., 3B, Harwood Heights, Ill./Lane Tech College Prep
Daniela had the top hitting week for Miami, hitting for a .412 average while driving in four. She was especially effective against Eastern Michigan over the weekend. On Saturday she was 2-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored. On Sunday, she went 3-for-4 with two RBI and one run scored. She also had three stolen bases on the week. Daniela had to be very strong defensively as she faced 26 total chances in five games. She had nine putouts, 16 assists and only one error while manning the hot corner.

Stephanie Tofft, Northern Illinois, Fr., OF, Lincoln, Calif./Lincoln
Freshman Stephanie Tofft extended her school-record hitting streak to 27 games with hits in all four of NIU's games this week. Tofft, who has hit safely in every Mid-American Conference game this season, had a hit against UIC, a 2-for-3 day versus Ohio, a 2-for-3 and two runs scored performance in NIU's 4-3 victory over Akron and capped the day with a hit against the Zips in the Huskies' 3-2 victory. Tofft, who is batting .423 on the season, is batting .415 in league play. She leads the team in hits with 52 and doubles with 12. In addition to her prowess as a hitter, Tofft has developed into an outstanding pitcher. She allowed three runs, one earned, in four innings of work against UIC. She has made four relief appearances, allowing six runs, four earned in nine innings of work.

Nicole Gremillion, Northern Illinois, Fr., Missouri City, Texas/Elkins
Freshman Nicole Gremillion improved to 5-3 on the season after picking up the wins in both of NIU's victories over Akron Sunday. She had five strike outs and three walks and allowed four runs in 8.2 innings of work. Her 3.23 ERA on the week was well below her season average of 5.65. The Huskie left-hander came in in relief of Bittner in the first game, allowing two runs in an inning of work, keeping the Huskies within striking distance. NIU took the lead in the bottom of the sixth, making Gremillion the pitcher of record and giving her the victory. In Game Two, Gremillion went six strong innings, allowing two runs on four hits.


Jillian Spink, Toledo, Jr., 1B, El Dorado Hills, CA / Oak Ridge
Spink led the Rockets to a pair of victories last week, tallying four RBI and three hits, all for extra bases. Hitting .300 (3-for-10), Spink knocked a pair of doubles and one big home run, the latter sealing a comeback win over Bowling Green. In the bottom of the seventh, Spink came up with two runners on and the Rockets trailing 4-3. She then smacked the ball over the center field wall to walk-off with a win over the rival Falcons. Spink also had an RBI double in the win over IPFW, and for the week boasted a slugging percentage of .800, tops on the team.


Jen Solanics, Toledo, Fr., Columbia Station, OH / Columbia
Solanics tossed a pair of complete games to claim both Rocket wins last week. After the Rockets surrendered 17 runs in a Game One loss to IPFW, Solanics shut the door in Game Two, holding the Mastadons to just one run on five hits while matching a career high with five punchouts. Solanics toed the rubber during the Rockets' next game as well, scattering four hits with four runs (three earned) and two strikeouts against rival Bowling Green. Solanics kept the Rockets in the game, setting up a walk-off win in their last at-bat. In her four appearances last week, the freshman hurler limited hitters to a minuscule .232 batting average.