3-15-2011 National Players of the Week


Kentucky’s Yocke Named USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week

  The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America announced today that Kentucky’s Megan Yocke (Sunnyvale, Calif.) has been named the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week for the Week of March 7-13. Yocke hit at a .556 clip in leading the Wildcats to a pair of upsets of then-No. 8 Tennessee, the first time Kentucky has taken a series from Tennessee since 2000.

With UK trailing 4-1 going into the bottom of the seventh inning of final game of the series, Yocke came through for the Wildcats to help break the series tie. With two runners aboard and two outs, Yocke smacked a three-run home run to tie the score at four apiece and force extra innings. UK would win the game 5-4 to win the series with UT for the first time in over 10 years.

Yocke reached base four times in that final contest as she added a pair of walks to her two hits. She was intentionally walked in the bottom of the 10th inning to load the bases and set the stage for sophomore Kara Dill’s walk-off single to win the game.

“Getting this award is amazing. As a player you always strive for honors like this, but you never really think it’s possible when you play in the SEC and play among all of those great players. This is an incredible honor not only for me, but for the Kentucky program,” said Yocke. “It’s proof that this program is taking strides forward. Beating Tennessee in a series for the first time since 2000 is just another step towards what we’re hoping to accomplish.”

For the series, Yocke batted a team-high .556 and twice had multiple-hit games. Her fifth home run of the year proved to be the difference maker in the series. With the three-run homer, Yocke charted her 102nd career RBI to become just the ninth player in program history to chart 100 or more career RBI. She also totaled more than 30 putouts to become just the third player in school allure to tally 1,000 career put outs.

“Obviously, this is an incredible honor for our program to have an athlete be recognized by ESPN and USA Softball,” said Kentucky Head Coach Rachel Lawson. “Yocke had a great series against Tennessee, but she’s really been tremendous for us all four years. I’m just glad that she was able to show her talent in front of the entire country.”

This is the first-time honor for Yocke and second for the University of Kentucky as current Kentucky assistant coach and member of the USA Softball National Team Program Molly Johnson earned the honor in 2009.

Pittsburgh’s Hmiel Named NFCA Division I National Player of the Week
March 15, 2011

 STARKVILLE, Miss. – Pittsburgh junior Kelly Hmiel has been named as the NFCA Division I National Player of the Week for games played from March 7-13, 2011.

Hmiel was nearly flawless at the plate on the week, going 14-for-17 with 11 runs, 16 RBI, two doubles, six home runs, three stolen bases and a walk, as the Panthers went 5-0 at East Tennessee’s Buccaneer Challenge.  The tournament MVP ended her five-game stretch with a .824 batting average, a .789 on-base percentage and a whopping 2.000 slugging percentage.

The York, Pa., native turned in three perfect performances at the plate on the week, going 2-for-2 against South Carolina State and 4-for-4 against St. Bonaventure and North Carolina A&T.  On Friday against St. Bonaventure, Hmiel hit three home runs and recorded six RBI in the Panther’s 10-1 win. On Saturday, Hmiel once again recorded six RBI, this time off of two home runs in a 15-0 win over North Carolina A&T.

After the five-game sweep of the Buccaneer Classic, Pittsburgh is now 13-5 on the year. This week, the Panthers will travel to Botetourt, Va., where they will play in their final regular-season tournament, the Radford Invitational. 

Other Top Performances
Massachusetts’ Sara Plourde struck out an astonishing 57 batters while allowing just two earned runs over a 4-0 week… Alisa Goler of Georgia went 5-for-9 with two homeruns as the Bulldogs swept then No. 21 LSU… Oklahoma’s Keilani Ricketts finished the week with 0.00 ERA, while striking out 35 and allowing just thee walks… Rhi Kliesing of Texas A&M batted .667 on the week, while smacking five home runs and driving in 8 RBI… Boise State’s Allie Crump fanned 28 batters while allowing just one unearned run to finish the week at 3-0…

NFCA DI National Player of the Week

Mar. 15 – Kelly Hmiel – Pittsburgh – Jr. – 3B – York, Pa.

Mar. 8 – Chelsea Thomas – Missouri – So. – P – Pleasantville, Iowa

Mar. 1 – Lori Spignola – North Carolina – Fr. – P – Atlanta, Ga.

Feb. 22 – Stephanie Brombacher – Florida – Sr. – P – Pembroke Pine, Fla.

Feb. 15 – Gabrielle Bridges – La-Lafayette – Sr. – 1B – Lafitte, La.

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