West Division Pitcher of the Week
Lauren Wells, Eastern Michigan, Fr., Lowell, Ind. / Lowell
Wells threw 10.1 innings in two appearances against Austin Peay State University this weekend without giving up a single earned run, deflating her season earned run average by over 2.5 runs. The freshman fanned 13 in two appearances in the circle, including a career-high 10 strikeouts in her complete game, eight-inning effort in the Eagles 3-1 win over APSU on March 27. Her performance also ties the sixth most strikeouts by an EMU hurler in the program's history. In 39 batters faced, Wells allowed only five hits to hold her opponents to a meager .147 batting average.
East Division Pitcher of the Week
Paige Myers, Miami, Fr., Grove City, Ohio/Grove City
Paige pitched her first career shutout in a six inning win over MAC rival Toledo on Friday. She allowed only two hits while striking out four. She also pitched 2/3 inning of scoreless relief against Morehead State on Thursday.
West Division Player of the Week
Stacie Skodinski, Eastern Michigan, Sr., SS, South Bend, Ind. / Washington
Skodinkski reached base safely in seven of her 10 plate appearances this past weekend, hitting for an impressive .625 (5-for-8) in the Eagles three-game series with Austin Peay State University. She cranked out two home runs and a double, while knocking in five RBIs and scoring four times for the Green and White. In EMU's final game of the series, the senior was a perfect 2-for-2 at the dish, hammering out two round-trippers to mark her second multi-home run performance in her career. In three games, Skodinski posted a 1.500 slugging percentage with an incredible .700 on-base percentage. The South Bend, Ind. native also proved to be a tough out for the Lady Governors, as APSU pitchers failed to strike her out over the weekend series.
Co-East Division Players of the Week
Abbey Ledford, Kent State, Fr., 2B, West Liberty, Ohio/West Liberty Salem
Ledford raised her team-leading batting average to .404 after hitting .700 in three games last week. In a doubleheader sweep of Bethune-Cookman, Ledford went 6-for-7 with three runs scored and three RBI. She has moved into the starting role at second base and recently moved up to the number six spot in the batting order.
Allie Larrabee, Miami, Fr., 1B, Chicago, Ill./Illinois Math and Science Academy
Larrabee was Miami's leading hitter during the week as she went an impressive 10-for-15 with five RBI and two runs scored. That included two walks for an on base percentage of .706. In a doubleheader against Morehead State, Larrabee went a combined 3-for-5 with one RBI and one run scored. Taking on MAC Rival Toledo at Miami's home tournament, Larrabee went 3-for-4 and recorded a career-high three RBI. She was 2-for-3 in each of the other two tournament games, finishing the Miami Invitational 7-for-10.
Katie Gross, Akron, So., DP, Akron, Ohio (Hoban)
Akron sophomore Katie Gross led the Zips by going 2-for-3 in a steady downpour at Winthrop on Saturday. She was one of only two Zips to manage a hit in the wet conditions, where Akron fell 9-1 to the Eagles in six innings. Gross knocked two singles in the first and sixth innings. The rest of UA's scheduled games in South Carolina had to be canceled due to the rainy weekend. Akron will open MAC play with Miami and Ball State April 1-3 for their first home action of the season. The Zips will celebrate Senior Day on Sunday, April 3 in recognition of their six seniors that made up head coach Julie Jones' first recruiting class at Akron.
Alyssa Collins, Ball State, Sr., RF, Fortville, Ind./Mt. Vernon
Senior right fielder Alyssa Collins (Fortville, Ind./Mt. Vernon) had a phenomenal week for Ball State, batting .688 with seven runs and three RBI, in addition to notching four stolen bases against Dayton, Marshall, Purdue and Mid-American Conference foe Toledo. Collins went a perfect 4-for-4 against the Boilermakers, scoring the lone Cardinals' run in the top of the first inning, in addition to tallying two stolen bases.
Audra Sanders, Ball State, So., Lynnville, Ind./Tecumseh
Sophomore pitcher Audra Sanders (Lynnville, Ind./Tecumseh) had a standout week for Ball State as the pre-medicine major went 2-1 on the week, allowing 14 hits and five walks and a 1.94 ERA against Dayton, Marshall and in-state rival Purdue. Versus the Flyers, Sanders dished up four innings of no-hit pitching in the five-inning, 15-1 victory, tallying four strikeouts and allowing only one walk. In Ball State's first contest versus Marshall Saturday, Sanders allowed four hits, no walks and tallied three strikeouts in five innings. Against Purdue, she allowed seven hits and three walks in over seven innings, in addition to fanning three Boilermakers batters.
Danielle Abernathy, Kent State, So., Adairsville, Ga./Adairsville
Abernathy earned two wins in the same day against Bethune-Cookman last week without allowing a run in either game.
Emily Wethington, Ohio, Sr., P, New Palestine, Ind./Scecina Memorial
Wethington hit .375, with one homer, three RBIs and six total bases. She posted a slugging percentage of .750 with an on-base percentage of .444. With a three-run homer in the first inning of the 6-0 Canisius win, she set the school's career record for home runs as she now has 23. In the circle, she also posted an ERA of 3.09 in 11 and two-thirds innings of work.
Becki Heimbigner, Toledo, So., 2B, Napa, CA / Napa
Sophomore second baseman Becki Heimbigner led the Rocket offense at the Miami Invitational this past weekend. Over the four-game span, Heimbigner hit .385 (5-for-13) with two runs scored and four RBI. All four RBI came from one mighty swing as Heimbigner blasted a grand slam in her second at-bat of the Rockets' 10-run fourth inning vs. Marshall. She finished the game 3-for-4 and was unblemished in the field as well. Heimbigner collected on the two Rocket hits as the offense struggled against Miami, and stretched her hit streak to four games with a double in the loss to Ball State. Heimbigner is now second on the team in RBI (11) and home runs (2), and is tied for the team lead in hits (20).
Jen Solanics, Toledo, Fr., Columbia Station, OH / Columbia
Freshman hurler Jen Solanics spun a pair of gems in the circle at the Miami Invitational this past weekend. In the tournament's opening game, Solanics limited Marshall to just two hits and no runs in a 5.0 inning complete-game shutout. The next day Solanics came up on the wrong end of a pitcher's duel against the Big 10's Purdue. She pitched a complete 6.0 innings, allowing just one run and scattering seven hits while tying a season-high with three strikeouts, but the Rockets were shutout by Purdue's ace and Solanics took the hard-luck loss. Over her last six appearances, Solanics holds a sparkling 1.97 ERA, surrendering just six earned runs in 21.1 innings pitched while punching out eight and holding opposing hitters to a .238 clip.