MAC Announces Pitchers & Players of the Week

Updated 5/3/2011
East Division Player of the Week
Erika Stratton, Bowling Green, Fr., C, Las Vegas, Nev./Palo Verde
Freshman Erika Stratton had one of the most remarkable games in BGSU history. After going 38 games to start her career without a home run, she hit three as Bowling Green came back from a 5-0 deficit to beat MAC leader Ball State 7-6 in 12 innings. Her first home run put the Falcons on the board, while her second blast tied the game. She added a double in the eighth inning that helped to tie the game again, and her 12th inning home run was a walk-off game-winner. She is the first player in program history to hit three home runs in a game and her 14 total bases rank among the 10 best games in NCAA Division I history.

East Division Pitcher of the Week
Jessica Simpson, Miami, Jr., North Canton, Ohio/Hoover
Simpson became Miami's all-time winningest pitcher with three victories last weekend. She earned the save in the RedHawks' other game. She allowed only three earned runs the entire weekend and 18 hits in 22 innings pitched. In the first game against Bowling Green on Friday, Simpson was perfect for 5 2/3 innings before giving up a single. She finished with a complete game victory, allowing one run and two hits. She came back in the nightcap and pitched the final two innings to earn a save and secure the 1-0 win. She led the RedHawks to a victory on Saturday against Toledo, allowing only one unearned run in six innings pitched. She finished of the weekend with a complete game against the Rockets, allowing only two runs on nine hits while striking out nine. Simpson had 23 strikeouts during the week, averaging more than one per inning.

West Division Player of the Week
Molly Coldren, Central Michigan, Jr., SS, West Bloomfield, Mich/Notre Dame
Junior Molly Coldren continued to pad her leads in CMU's record books, hitting two more home runs last week in wins over Michigan State and Eastern Michigan. Coldren finished the week 6-for-10 with two home runs, six RBI and five runs scored, while adding two doubles for a 1.400 slugging percentage. Coldren broke her own single-season home run record on Tuesday, hitting a two-run blast in the top of the 11th inning to cap a five-run frame to earn the Chippewas an 8-3 win over the Spartans. On Sunday, The West Bloomfield, Mich., native hit her second grand slam of the season as part of the Chippewas' season-best nine-run fourth inning, propelling CMU to a 11-3 win over the Eagles. She now has 13 home runs on the season and 26 in her career, both tops in program history.

West Division Pitcher of the Week
Kim Mazzapica, Ball State, Jr., Palm Harbor, Fla.
Junior Kim Mazzapica (Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake) had a great week for Ball State in which she pitched 14 innings and posted a 1.50 ERA against Mid-American Conference opponents Toledo and Bowling Green Friday and Sunday in Ohio. Credited with the win in the Cardinals' 13-3 victory versus the Rockets, the business major improved to 7-1 on the mound after five innings of work, allowing five hits and striking out one Rockets batter. Against the Falcons, Mazzapica held her opponents to a .179 batting average in nine innings of work, posting a 0.00 ERA.



Katie Gross, Akron, R-Fr., 2B/DP, Akron, Ohio/Hoban
Redshirt freshman Katie Gross was the only Zip to get a hit in all four games over the weekend, going 7-for-14 with 4 RBIs and a run scored. At Kent State, the Akron native was 4-for-7 with 3 runs driven in and a double. She followed that up with a 3-for-7 performance over two games at Buffalo, helping Akron to a 2-2 split on the weekend. Gross has raised her average to .281 and is third on the team with 39 hits in her first full season for UA. She was also error-free at second base with four putouts and an assist.

Alyssa Collins, Ball State, Sr., RF, Fortville, Ind./Mt. Vernon
Senior right fielder Alyssa Collins (Fortville, Ind./Mt. Vernon) had an outstanding week for Ball State during the squad's Mid-American Conference contests at Toledo and Bowling Green. Collins went 10-for-20 on the week, scoring five runs and driving in three, in addition to recording a double, a .700 slugging percentage and a stolen base. In the Cardinals' 7-1 defeat of the Rockets Friday, the special education major homered to right field in the second inning, her first on the season and in her career.

Melissa Bott, Bowling Green, Sr., Dover, Ohio/Dover
Melissa Bott had a 0.95 ERA in 22.0 innings during the week and picked up a win over Mid-American Conference leader Ball State with 9.2 innings of relief. Bott saw action in the pitching circle in four of the team's six games during the week, pitching a complete game without allowing an earned run in a loss to Miami. The next day, she came into the game against Ball State in relief in the bottom of the third with Bowling Green trailing 5-0. She proceeded to pitch the next 9.2 innings, allowing one earned run, as the Falcons battled back to tie and eventually win the game on a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 12th. She threw 156 pitches in that contest and scattered 11 Ball State hits, forcing the Cardinals to line into three double plays in the game.

Kristin Waldron, Buffalo, Jr., C/3B, Windsor, NY/Windsor Central
Kristin Waldron led the Bulls in batting at .462 over UB's three games this past weekend. Waldron has currently hit in five straight games and 14 of UB's last 15 games. Waldron was perfect on the base paths this past weekend, stealing four bases. As catcher, Waldron threw out four base runners during the week.

Kari Seddon, Central Michigan, Sr., St. Clair, Mich/St. Clair
Senior Kari Seddon moved just within one win of cracking the top 10 in program history, tossing all 11 innings versus Michigan State on Tuesday. The senior struck out five Spartan en route to earning her 42nd career win. The St. Clair, Mich., native pitched an additional six innings versus Eastern Michigan on Saturday, striking out six, but was not a part of the decision. Seddon finished the week with a 2.88 ERA in 17 innings pitched while giving up seven runs on four walks and seventeen hits.

Jessica Richards, Eastern Michigan, Jr., 3B, Canton, Ohio/Jackson
Richards recorded back-to-back multi-hit games for a .667 (4-for-6) clip over the weekend in the Eagles road split with Central Michigan. Her efforts boosted her overall batting average by 15 points to a .346 overall mark and also improved her conference only mark to .463. The junior swiped three stolen bases over the weekend to give her 18 on the season. Her 18 steals moves her into seventh place all-time for the single season EMU softball record books, and her 10 stolen bases through 16 MAC games also leads the conference with .625 stolen bases per game.

Jaclyn Caro, Eastern Michigan, Sr., Chino, Calif.-St. Lucy's Priory
Caro posted a 0.00 earned run average over the weekend after holding Central Michigan to just two hits for a .143 average in three and one third innings of work in the Eagles 5-4 come-from-behind victory over the Chippewas on April 30. The Chino, Calif. Native denied any earned runs from the CMU offense while striking out two to improve to 2-1 in MAC play. Her efforts also deflated her conference ERA to an astounding 0.91 on the season.

Alex Marcantonio, Kent State, Fr., DP, North Canton, Ohio/Hoover
Marcantonio carried an on-base percentage of .733 in 16 plate appearances over four weekend games and carried a slugging percentage of .800. She hit .600 with six runs scored. Marcantonio reached base in a ll four of her plate appearances and scored twice in a 9-7 win over Ohio.

Taylor Rice, Miami, So., U, Munroe Falls, Ohio/Archbishop Hoban
Taylor continued her recent strong play with eight hits in 13 at-bats (.615) in four wins last weekend. Five of her eight hits were doubles. She recorded hits in all four games, including a 2-for-3 performance with one double against Bowling Green on Friday. Her best game came on Sunday when she went 4-for-4 with three doubles, one RBI and one run scored against Toledo. It was the first four hit performance by a RedHawk this season.

Stephanie Tofft, Northern Illinois, Fr., OF/P, Lincoln, Calif./Lincoln
Freshman Stephanie Tofft extended her school record hitting streak to 36, also the nation's longest, with a hit in each of the Huskies' six games this past week. Tofft batted .455 while slugging .545 going 10-for-22 from the plate with two doubles, five RBIs and scoring seven runs. An offensive catalyst for the Huskies in the lead-off spot, she had an RBI in each of the last five games, turning in her best game of the week in the Huskies' 10-7 victory over Western Illinois going 4-for-5 with a run batted in and three runs scored. Tofft also went 1-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored in NIU's 14-2 rout of Loyola in the first game of a doubleheader. Tofft also performed well in the pitcher's circle, making four appearances, while making three starts. She lead the pitching staff with a 2.52 ERA allowing nine earned runs in 25 innings of work while striking out 13 and posted a 2-1 mark on the week.

Melissa Bonner, Ohio, Sr., Kings Mills, Ohio/Kings
Bonner went 1-0 with a save in three appearances last week. In her win against Buffalo, Bonner hurled 4.2 shutout innings in relief as Ohio earned a 6-5 come-from-behind victory over the Bulls. She struck out three batters and retired the final six she faced. In game two of the twinbill, Boner recorded her second save of the season after three effective innings of relief work.

Melissa Bonner, Ohio, Sr., P/OF, Kings Mills, Ohio/Kings
Bonner powered the Ohio offense to 28 runs in four games as she scored seven runs and totaled six RBIs and two home runs in a 3-1 week for the Bobcats. She launched both of her home runs to dead center field in a 7-3 game two victory at Kent State on Saturday, both two-out, two-run shots to total four RBIs in the contest. She also scored three runs in the game. For the week, she batted .500 (8-for-16) and slugged .875 with three multi-hit games and two multi-run outings.

Alyssa Foy, Toledo, Fr., C, Galesburg, MI/Galesburg-Augusta
Freshman Alyssa Foy was nearly the sole source of offense for the Rockets this past weekend. Foy was responsible for all four Rocket runs on Friday against Ball State, belting a solo home run in Game One and a three-run jack in Game Two. The pair of round-trippers were the first two of Foy's career as she finished the day 2-for-4 with four RBI. She continued her hot hitting against Miami, finishing the two-day series 3-for-6 with an RBI. She finished the weekend at a .500 clip (5-for-10) with 2 HR, 5 RBI and an impressive 1.100 slugging percentage. Foy also gunned down 3-of-5 attempted stolen bases from behind the plate.

Tara Buchanan, Western Michigan, Jr., 1B, La Porte, Ind./Kankakee CC/La Porte
Tara Buchanan's two hits of the weekend came at the most opportune times vs, Northern Illinois as the junior hit a three-run walk off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning on Saturday to give WMU a 6-4 win. Her second hit, also a home run, came in the bottom of the second against NIU with a runner aboard to give the Broncos a 4-1 lead en route to a 7-6 victory in nine innings. Buchanan slugged 1.600 and had an on-base percentage of .667.

Meredith Whitney, Western Michigan, Jr., Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain
Meredith Whitney recorded her second-straight 2-0 weekend, claiming victories as a starter and as a reliever for the second week in a row as well. Whitney has now won seven-straight decisions after starting the season 3-11. She is 9-3 in conference action this season. She pitched all 10 innings of WMU's comeback win over NIU on Saturday and then the final 3.2 innings in relief, allowing just one hit and run in the Broncos' nine-inning victory to sweep the series over the Huskies.