NATIONAL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK\
Georgia Sophomore Alex Hugo earns USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week honors
OKLAHOMA CITY — An outstanding week at the plate for Georgia sophomore second baseman Alex Hugo (Olathe, Kan.) earned her USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week honors this week the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today. Hugo guided the Bulldogs to a perfect 4-0 record that included a three-game series sweep of conference foe Mississippi State. With the wins, Georgia improved its record to 25-2 and moved up three spots to No. 14 in this week’s ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 announced earlier today.
“I am so thankful to receive this honor and be a part of this team,” said Hugo. “The best decision I could have made was to transfer to Georgia and be a part of this program. My coaches and teammates are extremely supportive and motivate me every day, both on and off the field. I would have never been honored with this award without them.”
Alex finished the week a combined 7-for-13 at the plate for a .538 average and also led the team in hits (seven), runs scored (six), RBI (seven), home runs (three) and slugging percentage (1.308). She recorded a hit in each of the games over the week, including home runs in each of Georgia’s three games against Mississippi State. She also extended her streak of reaching base safely to 26 games.
The Olathe, Kan., native was brilliant in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) series against Mississippi State, hitting at a .600 clip over the three games. She was responsible for the game-winning hit and run in each of the games, with each coming by way of a home run. On Friday, Hugo scored the game’s lone run when she belted a solo home run off the scoreboard.
Hugo delivered a walk-off home run in each of the next two games to seal the series sweep for the Georgia and delivered a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the fifth inning in the second game of the series against Mississippi State. With the bases loaded and one out, Hugo came to the plate and hit a towering home run over the right centerfield wall that gave the Bulldogs the 11-2 win.
In the second game of the day and the third of the series, Hugo again was the hero, leading off the bottom of the fifth inning with a solo home run that sealed the 9-1 run-rule win and the SEC series sweep.
“Alex is a complete player and one that can change the game in so many ways – with her bat, her defense, her speed and with her leadership on the field,” said Georgia Head Coach Lu Harris-Champer. “We are thrilled to have Alex not only in our lineup, but in our dugout as she embodies what it means to be a Bulldog. We are excited to see her being recognized nationally as she is certainly deserving of the award!”
On the year, Hugo’s 11 home runs and 30 RBI each rank first in the Bulldog lineup while the sophomore’s .908 overall slugging percentage is good enough for first in the SEC.
This is the first USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week honor for Alex and the first for a Georgia Bulldog since Geri Ann Glasco earned the award in Week Ten of the 2013 season.
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.
Syracuse’s O’Hara Selected as the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I National Player of the Week
March 18, 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Freshman pitcher/outfielder/first baseman Sydney O’Hara of Syracuse University has been selected as the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I National Player of the Week for games played over March 10-16.
“It’s a big honor to be named the NFCA National Player of the Week,” O’Hara said. “Softball is not an individual sport though, it’s more of a team effort. We had some tough losses the week before, and we knew we had to step up, which we did at Virginia. The whole pitching staff did really well, and all of our bats began to wake up, and everyone was giving their best effort. I go out there and pitch my best every single game. In the games I just focused on hitting spots, changing speeds and trusting my defense. I was glad my bat started waking up, because I was getting a little discouraged about my hitting, but I made adjustments at the plate, and once I got that first home run, I knew my hitting would start picking up.”
O’Hara, a Cicero, N.Y., native, did solid work both at the plate and in the circle last week, batting .500 overall (10-for-20) with 10 runs scored, three doubles, three HR’s and 11 RBIs while registering a 4-0 pitching mark and a 1.22 ERA over six appearances. The reigning Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Week slugged at an impressive 1.100 clip, while striking out 33 batters and limiting the opposition to just a .171 batting average over 23 innings of work. O’Hara twirled a pair of complete-game shutouts, including a one-hitter during a 8-0 (5 inn.) rout of Virginia that gave SU its first-ever ACC victory. During the 2014 season she is hitting .275 overall with 10 extra-base hits and 13 RBIs, while owning a 7-5 record in the circle with a 3.36 ERA and 74 K’s over 56.1 frames.
“I’m so proud of the way Sydney is leading our team right now,” Syracuse head coach Leigh Ross said. “Syd did a great job this past week. She was in the zone both pitching and hitting, and that’s what we’ve been asking her to do. Her stats from this week show a lot about her determination as an all-around player to help her team win.”
Next up for O’Hara and the Orange is a three-game league set against Georgia Tech that’s slated for March 22-23 in Syracuse, N.Y.
Selected Top Performances
Georgia’s Alex Hugo, the SEC Player of the Week, batted .538 (7-for-13) with six runs scored, a double, three HR’s, including two walk-offs to end run-rule victories (with one of those being a grand slam), and seven RBIs against Tennessee State & Mississippi State…Auburn’s Marcy Harper went 3-0 from the circle with a 2.33 ERA and 25 strikeouts over 15 innings of work while tossing back-to-back, five-inning no-hitters during wins over Radford and Savannah State…Kori Nishitomi of Oregon State provided a spark for Oregon State’s offense in a series win over No. 7 Arizona State, hitting .600 (6-for-10) overall…Louisiana’s Christina Hamilton, the Sun Belt Pitcher of the Week, was 2-0 with a 0.50 ERA and 10 strikeouts during a pair of triumphs over defending national champion Oklahoma…South Carolina’s Julie Sarratt, the SEC Pitcher of the Week, recorded a pair of victories and a save in a 3-1 week that included a series victory over nationally-ranked Texas A&M…USF’s Sara Nevins was a perfect 4-0 with a 0.34 ERA and tossed her fifth career no-hitter in a 3-0 win over UMass to earn American Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week…Tennessee’s Melissa Davin batted .636 (7-for-11) with eight tallies, a double, two HR’s and nine RBIs last week against Western Carolina and at Arkansas…Buffalo’s Tori Speckman, the MAC East Pitcher of the Week, led the Bulls to all three of their wins last week, striking out 31 over 21 frames of effort…Campbell’s Milly Martinet hit at a .450 clip (8-for-18) with eight runs scored, five HR’s and 12 RBIs on her way to earning Big South Conference Player of the Week…Lipscomb’s Kristen Sturdivant, the Atlantic Sun Conference’s Player of the Week, hit .438 with three HR’s and nine RBIs…South Alabama’s Hannah Campbell twirled her second career perfect game as part of a 2-0 week with a 0.00 ERA and 22 K’s over 14 innings of work against Nicholls State and Oklahoma State…California’s Kylie Reed batted .588 (10-for-17) against Ohio State and No. 21 Stanford, going 5-for-6 in the opener against the Cardinal…Tiffany Harbin of Jacksonville State, the OVC Pitcher of the Week, picked up three wins to establish a school mark for career victories at JSU with 65…Creighton’s Becca Changstrom, the BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week, was 3-0 with a 0.30 ERA and fired the program’s first no-hitter since 2011 via a 11-strikeout win over Army…Conference USA Player of the Week, Southern Miss’ Meaghen Nelson, batted .529 (9-for-17) with a team-best 11 RBIs…George Washington’s Tori Valos, the Atlantic-10 Player of the Week, batted .520 (13-for-25) with six runs scored and eight RBIs…Auburn’s Kasey Cooper hit .692 (9-for-13) with four extra-base hits and 13 RBIs against Troy, Radford, IPFW, Savannah State and Ball State…Alabama’s Haylie McCleney batted .700 (7-for-10) with four runs scored, three steals, two walks, a HR and five RBIs during a three-game sweep of Ole Miss.
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.