APRIL 22 NATIONAL PLAYERS OF THE QWWK
Florida’s Tofft Named as the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I National Player of the Week
April 22, 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Senior third baseman Stephanie Tofft of Florida has been chosen as the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I National Player of the Week for games played over April 14-20.
The reigning Southeastern Conference Player of the Week, Tofft batted .700 (7-for-10) with six runs scored, a double, three HR’s and 10 RBIs as the Gators swept a three-game league road series at then-No. 21 Texas A&M. The Lincoln, Calif., native homered in each of UF’s three match-ups, while extending her hitting streak against league opponents to six games dating back to April 4. She christened her weekend by going 2-for-3 with two tallies, a HR and a pair of RBIs in a 5-1 series-opening win. Tofft followed that up on Saturday by knocking in five runs while posting a 2-for-3 effort with a double and a HR during a 17-4 (5 inn.) rout of the Aggies. She wrapped up her impressive performance by recording a 3-for-4 day at the plate with a HR and three RBIs in Sunday’s 8-0 (6 inn.) finale. For the season Tofft is batting .326 overall with 38 runs scored, 18 extra-base hits, including nine HR’s, and a team-leading 51 RBIs.
“It was a team effort,” Tofft said. “Having our pitchers at the top of their game allows me to relax at the plate. They did a great job to hold Texas A&M’s offense in check. Our coaches have worked with me a lot to improve my swing, and I’m seeing the ball very well. I think we’re playing really well as a team right now, and we want to maintain our momentum going into the postseason.”
“I want to thank the NFCA for recognizing Stephanie for her performance last week,” Florida head coach Tim Walton said. “Her play was pivotal in our three-game sweep on the road against Texas A&M. Stephanie has really played at a high level this season, and she is an important part of our offense.”
Tofft and the Gators return to action on Wed., April 23, when they host USF at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, Fla.
Selected Top Performances
Florida State’s Maddie O’Brien, the ACC Player of the Week, batted .857 (6-for-7) with three doubles, two HR’s and seven RBIs over five victories against Pitt and Syracuse while reaching safely in a remarkable 18 straight plate appearances…College of Charleston’s Kelsey Hodgson was tabbed as the Colonial Athletic Association’s Player of the Week after hitting .800 (8-for-10) with a double, four HR’s and seven RBIs…Harvard’s Laura Ricciardone earned Ivy League Pitcher of the Week honors after going 6-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 18 strikeouts over 29.1 innings…Mississippi State’s Alexis Silkwood earned SEC Pitcher of the Week after going 2-0 with 23 K’s in 15.1 innings to go along with a shutout against No. 4 Tennessee…Conference USA Player of the Week, Kristin McGrath of UAB, batted .600 (9-for-15) with a double, two HR’s and 11 RBIs as the Blazers went 4-1…Notre Dame’s Micaela Arizmendi hit at an .818 clip with three doubles, a HR and eight RBIs over only 11 plate appearances against Virginia…UNLV’s Emily Haslinger powered her squad offensively by hitting .500 (6-for-12) with four HR’s, including three round trippers and seven RBIs to equal school single-game records during a 10-2 Friday win over New Mexico…USF’s Sara Nevins, the American Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week, led the Bulls to a sweep of then-conference-leading Houston by picking up three wins with a 0.93 ERA while also becoming USF’s all-time wins leader with 93 W’s…Tulsa’s Aimee Creger was named Conference USA Pitcher of the Week after recording two wins and a save and posting a 0.38 ERA with 29 strikeouts over 18.2 innings in a sweep at UTSA…The Summit League Player of the Week, Lizzie Noble of Omaha, drove in total 13 runs and also hit at a .615 (8-for-13) clip with 11 of those RBIs during a three-game sweep of South Dakota State…Stetson’s Meredith Owen was 2-0 with a 0.35 ERA and batted .455 with a HR and three RBIs to earn Atlantic Sun Conference Pitcher of the Week…Baylor’s Jordan Strickland hit at a .556 pace (5-for-9) with four HR’s and 12 RBIs, including a pair of two-HR games, during a three-game series against Oklahoma State…Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week, Wichita State’s Brittany Fortner, batted .571 (8-for-14) with a 1.357 slugging mark and nine RBIs…Hofstra’s Michaela Transue blasted two doubles, two HR’s (both against LSU), scored four runs and added seven RBIs on the way to reaping CAA Rookie of the Week accolades…Western Michigan’s Allyson Kus earned MAC West Pitcher of the Week after posting a 3-0 record with a 0.39 ERA and a pair of complete games…Nicole Pagano of Mount St. Mary’s registered a 3-0 mark with a 0.33 ERA, 19 strikeouts over 21 innings and managed a no-hitter in a win over LIU Brooklyn.
2014 Louisville Slugger Division I National Player of the Week
Feb. 11 – Griffin Joiner – Kentucky – Jr. – C – Hopkinsville, Ky.
Feb. 18 – Bryana Walker – Washington – Sr. – P – La Quinta, Calif.
Feb. 25 – Anna Miller (Co-) – USC Upstate – Sr. – P – Portland, Ore.
Ally Carda (Co-) – UCLA – Jr. – P/UTIL – Elk Grove, Calif.
March 4 – Lacey Waldrop – Florida State – Jr. – P – Chester, Va.
March 11 – Dallas Escobedo – Arizona State – Sr. – P – Glendale, Ariz.
March 18 – Sydney O’Hara – Syracuse – Fr. – P/OF/1B – Cicero, N.Y.
March 25 – Jaclyn Traina (Co-) – Alabama – Sr. – P/UTIL – Naples, Fla.
Sammy Marshall (Co-) – Western Illinois – Jr. – SS/OF – Naperville, Ill.
April 1 – Cheridan Hawkins – Oregon – So. – P – Anderson, Calif.
April 8 – Katiyana Mauga – Arizona – Fr. – 3B – San Diego, Calif.
April 15 – Michelle Mueller – Wisconsin – Sr. – IF – La Crosse, Wis.
April 22 – Stephanie Tofft – Florida – Sr. – 3B – Lincoln, Calif.
A .455 Batting Average and 0.35 ERA earn Stetson ace Meredith Owen USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week honors
OKLAHOMA CITY — A 2-0 performance in the circle with a 0.35 ERA coupled with a .455 batting average, a home run and three RBI from its ace pitcher helped Stetson take the series win over Atlantic Sun Conference foe Lipscomb this week. For her efforts, Meredith Owen (Jackson, Miss.) is this week’s USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week. With the pair of wins, Stetson improved to 31-9 on the season, 15-5 in conference play and earned votes in this weeks ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll.
“I am so amazed, honored and humbled,” Owen said. “I owe it all to my amazing team as well as my incredible coaches. We have all worked so hard for this season, and I am just excited to be able to share this honor with them.”
On Friday, Owen tossed a six-hit shutout in which she allowed just one runner to reach third base and retired the final seven batters in a row to garner her seventh shutout of the season. As remarkable of a performance as it was, the senior had one of her greatest outings of her career on Saturday. A scoreless game in the through the fourth inning, Owen connected for a two-run home run to give Stetson a 2-0 lead. Lipscomb would fight back to tie the game and send it to extra innings. In the bottom of the 10th with the Hatters trailing 3-2 and down to their last strike, Owen delivered a game-tying single to center field evening the score.
The game went 13-total innings with Owen going the distance in the circle. With international tiebreak rules in effect, Owen pitched out of second-and-third, no-out situations in both the 11th and 12th innings, and then she worked out of a second-and-third, one-out situation in the 13th without allowing a single to run to score. For the game, she held the Bisons to just 1-for-17 with runners in scoring position and 0-for-12 in two-out situations. She threw 157 pitches and allowed just one hit in extra innings, a bunt single.
“It is a tremendous honor to have Meredith selected as the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week,” Stetson head coach Frank Griffin said. “She gave an unbelievable performance in a key conference series for us last weekend both at the plate and in the circle, and the recognition is well-deserved.”
For the week, Owen held the Bisons, one of the top hitting teams in the conference, to a .176 batting average over 20 innings of work. She lowered her ERA to an NCAA-best 0.73, and her 19 wins leads the Atlantic Sun. This is the first USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week honor for Meredith and the first for a Stetson Hatter.
2014 USA Softball National Collegiate Players of the Week
Week 1 (Feb. 6-9): Kylee Lahners – Washington – Junior – Infielder– Laguna Hills, Calif.
Week 2 (Feb. 10 -16): Aimee Creger – Tulsa – Senior – Pitcher– Yukon, Okla.
Week 3 (Feb. 17-23): Ally Carda – UCLA – Junior – Pitcher – Elk Grove, Calif.
Week 4 (Feb. 24 – March 2): Cheridan Hawkins – Oregon – Sophomore – Anderson, Calif.
Week 5 (March 3-9): Dallas Escobedo – Arizona State – Senior – Pitcher– Glendale, Ariz.
Week 6 (March 10-16): Alex Hugo – Georgia – Sophomore – Infielder – Olathe, Kan.
Week 7 (March 17-23): Jaclyn Traina – Alabama – Senior – Pitcher – Naples, Fla.
Week 8 (March 24 – 30): Ellen Renfroe – Tennessee – Senior – Pitcher – Jackson, Tenn.
Week 9 (March 31 – April 6): Katiyana Mauga – Arizona – Freshman – Outfielder – San Diego, Calif.
Week 10 (April 7 – 13): Michelle Mueller – Wisconsin – Senior – Third Base – LaCrosse, Wis.
Week 11 (April 14 – 20): Meredith Owen – Stetson – Senior – Pitcher – Jackson, Miss.