NATIONAL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
UCLA’s Carda & USC Upstate’s Miller Share Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I Co-National Player of the Week Accolades
February 25, 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A week chocked full of impressive performances throughout Division I softball made an always difficult job even tougher as the decision was made to honor both UCLA’s Ally Carda and USC Upstate’s Anna Miller as Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I Co-National Players of the Week.
Carda, the Pacific-12 Conference Pitcher of the Week, led the nationally ranked Bruins from both the circle and the plate over the weekend at the prestigious Mary Nutter Classic in Cathedral City, Calif. The junior pitcher/utility player batted .429 (6-of-14) with four stolen bases, four RBIs and hit safely in four of five match-ups, while also posting a perfect 4-0 pitching mark with a 0.67 ERA and 27 strikeouts over 21 innings of work while limiting the opposition to a miniscule .197 batting average. Included in her efforts from the circle were victories over then-No. 18 Oklahoma (7 IP, 0 ER, 10 K), then-No. 16 Missouri (3 IP, 0 ER, 5 K), Maryland (5 IP, 0 ER, 5 K) and then-No. 11 Nebraska (6 IP, 2 ER, 7 K) as UCLA went a perfect 5-0 for the week.
“I’m very honored to earn this National Player of the Week award,” Carda said. “After having a great tournament in Palm Springs last year, it was great to be able to come out here and prove we could do it again. This game can get pretty big, but as a team if we stick together we can get the job done. We are off to a great start to the season, and that gives everyone a lot of confidence. We’ve had a few comeback wins and also had a few where we have gotten ahead early and kept the lead. It just shows that whatever is thrown at us that we can manage it and take care of it.”
“Ally came into the 2014 season very determined and disciplined,” UCLA head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez said. “She has worked harder than everyone, especially with her workouts during the summer and fall, and I’m so proud that the game is paying her back. This team’s expectations are high, but the most important part is that their standard at practice and work ethic is preparing them to meet those expectations.”
The reigning Atlantic Sun Conference Pitcher of the Week, senior hurler Miller made program history by becoming the first Spartan pitcher to ever throw consecutive no-hitters with blankings of Gardner-Webb and Liberty. The Portland, Ore., native was 2-0 for the week with a 0.74 ERA and 37 strikeouts over 19 innings of work, 17 of those hitless. In her first no-no against Gardner-Webb, Miller fired a complete-game with 14 K’s, missing out on a perfect game by a single walk. Against Liberty she again came oh so close to perfection but was undone by a defensive miscue while tossing six no-hit innings with 12 K’s versus the Flames. A JUCO transfer from the College of Siskiyous, she ventured to Upstate as a junior in 2013 and has four no-hitters in her Spartan career, including a perfect game against Jacksonville State in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
“We have a great defense behind me that no matter what you throw, they have your back,” Miller said. “With that confidence, you can throw your best stuff and if they hit it, the defense is going to be there and have your back. There’s no worries, you can just throw your heart out.”
“I am extremely proud of Anna and am thrilled she has earned a national award like this,” USC Upstate head coach Chris Hawkins said. “To throw no-hitters in back-to-back starts is something rare. I have never witnessed that in all my years of coaching. It just shows how well she is pitching, working the count and locating her pitches. I am really excited where she is right now.”
Selected Top Performances
LSU’s Jacee Blades hit an amazing .667 (16-for-24) over seven games last week with seven runs, one triple, two steals and three RBIs and was 2-for-4 against then-No. 3 Washington and 4-for-4 versus then-No. 6 Oregon…Omaha’s Amber Lutmer, the Summit League Player of the Week, batted .556 (10-for-18) with four HR’s and 17 RBIs over five contests and posted seven RBIs in a single match-up against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi…Georgia’s Geri Ann Glasco, the SEC Co-Player of the Week, batted .500 (8-for-16) with five walks, four HR’s and 12 RBIs, while also blasting two grand slams in a single game against Marshall…Baylor’s Whitney Canion was 3-0 from the circle with a 0.00 ERA, a save and 22 K’s in 21 frames at the Mary Nutter Classic with wins over No. 11 Stanford, California and Northwestern…Oklahoma’s Kelsey Stevens posted a 4-1 mark with a 1.62 ERA and 23 K’s over 21.2 frames in Cathedral City, Calif., with wins over Boise State, Northwestern, Oregon State and Syracuse…Current Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week Callie Collins of UT Arlington was 3-0 during the UTA Hilton Invitational with two complete games, a shutout and a 0.93 ERA over five appearances…Tennessee’s Ellen Renfroe, the SEC Pitcher of the Week, posted a 3-0 mark with a 0.72 ERA and 22 K’s over 19.1 innings while registering wins at the Mary Nutter Classic over then-No. 11 Nebraska, then-No. 13 Stanford, and Fresno State…Sydney Gouveia of Loyola Marymount, the West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Week, was 4-0 with 28 K’s and a 0.33 ERA in four appearances at the Amy S. Harrison Classic and tossed her first career no-hitter in a 1-0 win over Seattle…Rutgers’ Jackie Bates was tabbed as the NFCA Division I Leadoff Classic’s Most Valuable Player after batting .438 (7-for-16) with three doubles, a HR and nine RBIs…Alabama’s Kallie Case hit .500 (9-for-18) and swiped four bases in a game against Virginia Tech to tie a Crimson Tide single-game school record…Arkansas’ Clarisa Navarro, the SEC Co-Player of the Week, knocked in 12 runs and registered both 10 hits and 10 runs scored for the Razorbacks in an unbeaten week…Kansas hurler Alicia Pille fired her first career no-hitter in a win over Jackson State and allowed opponents just a .115 batting average against with 12 K’s…Conference USA Player of the Week Louisiana Tech’s Pauline Tufi batted .600 (9-for-15) with four doubles and nine RBIs at the ULM Warhawk Classic…Longwood’s Emily Murphy batted .800 (8-for-10) with six steals, three doubles and six RBIs…Dayton’s Gabrielle Snyder, the Atlantic-10 Pitcher of the Week, posted a perfect 3-0 record on the way to being chosen to the Tiger Classic All-Tournament Team…Krista Menke of North Dakota State, the Summit League Co-Pitcher of the Week, was 4-0 with a 1.15 ERA and 24 K’s over 24.1 innings at the Houston Plaza Invite…LSU’s Baylee Corbello was 4-0 with a 2.04 ERA, four complete games and 17 K’s over 24 innings and tallied wins over Penn State, Long Beach State, Cal State Fullerton and then-No. 13 Stanford.
UCLA Junior Ally Carda tabbed with USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week honors
OKLAHOMA CITY — The UCLA Bruins improved their perfect record to 16-0 over the weekend due largely in part to pitcher Ally Carda (Elk Grove, Calif.). The Junior pitched the Bruins to four wins in the circle, including three against ranked opponents, and also hit .429 at the plate with four runs batted in and five runs scored. For her efforts, Carda has been named the USA Softball Collegiate National Player of the Week the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today.
“I’m very excited to earn this National Player of the Week honor,” said Carda. “I’ve been working really hard to improve all aspects of my game. Last year, we didn’t end the season the way we wanted to, so I took a lot of pride in working out over the summer and trying to get better in whatever way possible, whether it was pitching, hitting or getting faster and stronger. My teammates have had my back all season and it’s been pretty fun to just go out there and play. Everyone on this team is on the same page to get better on our mission to get to the top.”
Carda was 4-0 on the week with a 0.67 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 21 total innings in the circle for the Bruins who competed at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Palm Springs, Calif. On Friday, facing the defending NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS) Champions and 13th ranked Oklahoma Sooners, Carda struck out 10 batters and allowed just two unearned runs in a 3-2 UCLA win.
The Junior won twice on Saturday, tossing three innings of shutout relief versus then-No. 16 Missouri in a UCLA 4-3 win. She struck out five batters and allowed only one hit and one walk in the contest. Carda helped her own efforts as she went 2-for-3 from the plate with an RBI. Later in the evening, Ally recorded her second win of the day when she struck out five batters in five innings of a 10-5 UCLA victory over Maryland. From the plate Carda went 2-for-4, scored two runs and batted in a third.
Carda’s efforts on Sunday were just as impressive as she earned her fourth win of the week, this a 6-2 decision over then-No. 12 Nebraska. The right hander allowed two runs on four hits in the game but struck out seven Husker batters while going 1-for-2 from the plate with one run scored. In their final game of the event, UCLA faced an unranked New Mexico team late Sunday and Carda did her damage on the offensive side. She went 1-for-1 with two runs scored and batted in two additional runs as UCLA cruised to a 13-0, five inning run rule of the Lobos.
“Ally played with savvy this weekend, getting out of some big situations, and that’s what champions do,” UCLA head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez said. “And Ally is getting even stronger, so the best is yet to come. Ally came in to this UCLA softball program to carry on the long tradition in the circle. She’s more than just a pitcher though. She also has the ability to impact the lineup at the plate as a very powerful leadoff hitter. Ally exemplifies what it means to be a Bruin. She is a very powerful leader and an outstanding teammate. She exudes confidence and the team is able to keep that calm confidence behind her.”
Carda finished the week with 27 total strike outs in 21 innings of work. She allowed just two earned runs and six walks on her way to a .067 ERA. From the plate, Carda finished 6-for-14 for a .429 average, scored five runs, plated four RBI and finished with a .550 on-base percentage. She successfully stole four bases on five attempts.
This is the first USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week honor for a UCLA Bruin since B.B. Bates earned the award in Week 2 of the 2013 season. The Bruins return to action this weekend, Feb. 28 – March 2, at the Long Beach Louisville Slugger Invitational in Lakewood, Calif.
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.