MAC Announces Softball Players & Pitchers of the Week

Updated 4/26/2011
West Division Player of the Week
Meredith Whitney, Western Michigan, OF/P, Jr., Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain
Meredith Whitney was a perfect 8-for-8 at the plate during the Broncos series sweep of Bowling Green. She registered WMU's first lead off home run of the season, giving her 11 home runs for her career to move into a third-place tie with Amanda Heckaman on the WMU career list. She slugged 1.375 percent and scored the winning run during Sunday's series finale. In the circle, Meredith Whitney picked both wins for the Broncos, the first with a complete game shutout performance, striking out 11 batters. It was the second time this year she has fanned over 10 batters in a game. Her second win came as a reliever, pitching 3.1 innings and allowing just one hit. Whitney held opposing batters to a .176 batting average and did not allow a run in 10.1 innings of work. Her seventh and eighth wins of the season were her fourth and fifth straight since starting the season, 3-11.

East Division Player of the Week
Kat Russette, Miami, Sr., OF, Walled Lake, Mich./Walled Lake Central
Russette had one of the best weeks of her career with 11 hits in 18 at-bats in six games. She had at least two hits in five out of the six games. Russette was 2-for-2 with two RBI, one run scored and a sacrifice fly in the 7-1 win over Butler on Tuesday. She went 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored and two doubles against Buffalo in the first game of the doubleheader on Friday. Against Kent State on Sunday, she was 3-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored. She also stole a base in that game.

West Division Pitcher of the Week
Meredith Whitney, Western Michigan, Jr., Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain
In the circle, Meredith Whitney picked both wins for the Broncos, the first with a complete game shutout performance, striking out 11 batters. It was the second time this year she has fanned over 10 batters in a game. Her second win came as a reliever, pitching 3.1 innings and allowing just one hit. Whitney held opposing batters to a .176 batting average and did not allow a run in 10.1 innings of work. Her seventh and eighth wins of the season were her fourth and fifth straight since starting the season, 3-11. Meredith Whitney was a perfect 8-for-8 at the plate during the Broncos series sweep of Bowling Green. She registered WMU's first lead off home run of the season, giving her 11 home runs for her career to move into a third-place tie with Amanda Heckaman on the WMU career list. She slugged 1.375 percent and scored the winning run during Sunday's series finale.

East Division Pitcher of the Week
Jessica Simpson, Miami, Jr., North Canton, Ohio/Hoover
Simpson continued her dominant season with another three shutout wins last week. She threw her third career one-hitter against Butler in a 3-0 win on Tuesday, missing a no-hitter on only one slow rolling infield hit in the fifth inning that was just barely beaten out. She struck out 14 in that game. Simpson also threw two shutouts over the weekend against Kent State, a team that came in batting .292 overall, allowing only five hits on Saturday and seven hits on Sunday. Her three victories gave her 63 for her career, which ties the Miami school record. Simpson struck out a total of 27 on the week and held opponents to a .188 batting average.


Alex Feltes, Akron, Sr., 3B, Rocky River, Ohio/Magnificat
Now with a six-game hitting streak, Akron senior Alex Feltes was 4-for-8 over three games of MAC play while helping the Zips to a sweep of Central Michigan. In a close loss to Eastern Michigan, Feltes was 2-for-3 at the plate with a two-run home run that momentarily regained the lead for UA. Against CMU, she finished 2-for-5 with another home run, her fifth of the season, along with three runs scored and two sacrifices. She leads the team with a .397 average, 48 hits, and 24 runs while starting every game at third base.

Heather Bauer, Akron, Sr., Medina, Ohio/Wright State
Akron senior Heather Bauer did it all for the Zips in three games of MAC play, going 2-0 in the circle in three appearances as Akron lost a close game to EMU 6-4 and then swept CMU 11-8 and 8-7. At the plate, she led the team with 7 hits in 8 at-bats, including one home run, two doubles, 5 RBIs, and 3 runs scored. She has now hit safely in six straight games. Against Central Michigan, Bauer was a perfect 5-for-5 on the day as she helped the Zips to two wins. She started game one and pitched a total of 5.1 innings while striking out five and only allowing one walk and four earned runs. In game two, she came in in relief and picked up the win after throwing 0.2 innings and giving up just 3 hits. She improved to second on the team with a .319 average and leads the squad with 10 doubles on the season.

Audra Sanders, Ball State, So., Lynnville, Ind./Tecumseh
Sanders had a phenomenal showing for the Cardinals, going 2-1 with her only loss coming at Indiana. The sophomore earned two victories after allowing only three hits each in a 10-0 complete game shut out against Mid-American Conference foe Kent State Friday and a 9-1 victory versus league opponent Buffalo Saturday at the BSU Softball Complex. On the week, Sanders struck out 17 batters in 15.1 innings of work and walked only three against the Hoosiers, Golden Flashes and Bulls.

Jennifer Gilbert, Ball State, Fr., DH, McKinney, Texas/McKinney
Gilbert was a standout at the plate this week as the freshman went 7-for-9 through four games against Indiana and Mid-American Conference foes Kent State and Buffalo, tallying one home run, scoring three runs and recording six RBI. In the Cardinals' 7-4 victory versus the Bulls, Gilbert hit a solo shot over the right center field fence in the bottom of the fifth inning to reach a career-high nine home runs. Continuing the phenomenal start to her collegiate career, Gilbert is 53-for-152 with 31 runs scored since the start of the season, including her nine home runs and a grand slam.

Kristin Waldron, Buffalo, Jr., C, Windsor, NY/Windsor Central
Waldron had five runs batted in for the Bulls on the week, including all four in the first game against Ball State. Waldron had a team-high .667 slugging percentage as well as a team-best two doubles in the five games. Waldron leads the Bulls in at bats and hits and is tied for the team lead with 16 runs batted in.

Amanda Patrick, Central Michigan, Sr., 3B, Tampa, Fla./Saint Leo University/Chamberlain
Senior Amanda Patrick hit a pair of of home runs over the weekend for the Chippewas, including a two-run shot versus Ohio and a three-run blast versus Akron. Patrick's first home run of the weekend came in game one versus Ohio, giving the Chippewas a 2-0 lead. The senior's second home run of the weekend came in with CMU down 4-0 in the sixth inning versus Akron, cutting the deficit to one. Patrick also added a sacrifice fly later in the game, giving her four RBI on the day. The Tampa, Fla., native finished the week with three extra base hits, adding a double, while going 4-for-11 (.364) with three runs scored. She also registered a team-high 13 assists on the weekend while slugging 1.000.

Jessica Richards, Eastern Michigan, Jr., 3B, Canton, Ohio/Jackson
Richards posted a .714 average after connecting on five hits in seven at bats while maintaining a .857 slugging percentage. Richards also tallied her fourth double on the year and posted an impressive .714 on-base percentage and did not strike out a single time at the plate. The junior swiped two bases to bring her season total to 15, moving her into eighth all-time in the EMU single season record books. Defensively, she was flawless and did not commit a single error at third base.

Stephanie Tofft, Northern Illinois, Fr., U, Lincoln, Calif./Lincoln
Stephanie Tofft continues to have an amazing freshman campaign. She posted an incredible weekend batting .833 and slugging 1.500 going 5-for-6 from the plate, including a home run and a double, while earning five walks from the lead-off spot. Once she got on, she was active on the base paths, going 3-for-3 in stolen base attempts. Tofft also saw time in the pitching circle, going 1-1 on the weekend with a save allowing five runs on four hits in nine innings of work. She leads the team in 11 offensive categories including batting average (.442), doubles (13), hits (57) and runs scored (34). Tofft is second on the team in four categories, including runs batted in (30) and home runs (4).

Emily Wethington, Ohio, Sr., P/DP, New Palestine, Ind.
Wethington went 5-for-8 at the plate including 4-for-6 with three RBIs and two doubles in a twinbill with Central Michigan on Friday. In the first game against the Chippewas she gave Ohio a 1-0 lead in the first after she and Melissa Bonner notched back-to-back two out hits. In the second game, she grew the Bobcats' lead to 3-0 in the second with a two-out home run down the left field line. In the circle she went 2-1 on the weekend and tallied 13 strikeouts against two walks. Wethington struck out eight batters in the first game against Central Michigan and nine on the day. In a rain-shortened game against Eastern Michigan she struck out four in five innings of work. She extended her hitting streak to nine straight games, a season-high for the team.

Lindsey Tobias, Toledo, So., RF, Defiance, OH/Defiance
In Toledo's weekend split with Northern Illinois, the Rockets' sophomore right fielder tallied back-to-back three-RBI days, finishing 2-for-6 at the plate. The first of those hits lifted Toledo to victory in Game One against the West Division leaders. With two runners on in the top of the seventh, Tobias cracked what proved to be a game-winning home run with her team-leading seventh bomb of the year. In Game Two, Tobias again provided the offense for the Rockets, roping a two-run single along with a sacrifice fly to account for three of the Rockets' four runs. In the two games, Tobias also slugged .833 and her six RBI stretched her team lead to 25 RBI.