Monday, March 03, 2014 | Softball
Softball Weekly Release (March 3)

MVC Player of the Week
Laura Canopy, Illinois State
After struggling to regain her All-MVC First Team form from a season ago, Laura Canopy busted out of her season-opening slump at the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic last weekend. The senior hit .438 (7-for-16) with a home run, five RBI, a double, three runs scored, two walks and a hit by pitch, raising her average from .235 entering the weekend to a team-best .300. Against No. 25 Auburn, Canopy went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and double, as the Redbirds lost a seventh inning lead in a 3-2 defeat to the Tigers. Canopy notched one hit and one RBI apiece in a 4-2 loss to No. 23 Notre Dame and 11-10 defeat at the hands of No. 17/18 Missouri, before going 3-for-4 with a game-winning single in the seventh inning in ILS’ 3-2 victory over Omaha.

MVC Pitcher of the Week
Chelsea Jones, Missouri State
Jones picked up her fourth win of the year and second complete game shutout with a seven-inning 8-0 blanking of Southeast Missouri State on Saturday. She had a season-high five strike outs and scattered just five hits. She did not walk a batter for the fourth consecutive start and lowered her earned run average to 2.21 after her second-straight outing with allowing an earned run. Jones is one of just three pitchers tied atop the league with two shutouts this season (along with teammate Erin Struemph) and moves into the top-5 in ERA.

MVC Newcomer of the Week
Megan Sowa, Drake
Megan Sowa continues to excel in her first season as she hit a blistering .545 this past weekend to help the Drake Bulldogs capture the Woo Pig Fastpitch Classic title over No 24 Arkansas. Sowa’s average led the team as she went 6-for-11 along with two runs scored and three RBI. The Gurnee, Ill. native, recorded four hits, two RBI and two runs scored in the two games against the Razorbacks. For the season, Sowa holds the top batting average on the squad at .364 (16-of-44) along with a triple, three doubles, six RBI and eight runs scored.

 

Other notable performances:

PLAYERS
Alyson Clemente, Bradley
Clemente scored or drove in 40 percent of Bradley’s runs at the Citrus Classic, hitting .438 with two doubles, four RBI and six runs as she helped the Braves to a 2-3 record. Against Ohio State, Clemente was 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored in a 5-3 setback to the Buckeyes. She tallied one of Bradley’s four hits in a 1-0 loss to 17th-ranked Missouri, going 1-for-3. Clemente highlighted a 6-5 victory against Syracuse, going 2-for-3 with a run an RBI and two runs scored. She scored the game-winning run against the Orange on a wild pitch in the seventh and both of her runs against Syracuse came on wild pitches. Clemente capped the week with a 3-for-4 effort in a 16-4, five-inning romp against 2013 NCAA Tournament participant Fordham. She had a double, three runs scored and three RBI in the victory.

Megan Sowa, Drake
Megan Sowa continues to excel in her first season as she hit a blistering .545 this past weekend to help the Drake Bulldogs capture the Woo Pig Fastpitch Classic title over No 24 Arkansas. Sowa’s average led the team as she went 6-for-11 along with two runs scored and three RBI. The Gurnee, Ill. native, recorded four hits, two RBI and two runs scored in the two games against the Razorbacks. For the season, Sowa holds the top batting average on the sqaud at .364 (16-of-44) along with a triple, three doubles, six RBI and eight runs scored.

Alyssa Mannucci, Loyola
Alyssa Mannucci could not be stopped at the plate in Loyola’s only game of the Mizuno Invitational, going 3-for-4 with a home run, two doubles, two RBI and a run in the Ramblers’ 3-2 victory over Pac-12 powerhouse California. The freshman’s solo home run in the bottom of the second gave the Ramblers a 2-1 lead, and after Cal came back to tie the game, Mannucci’s double in the bottom of the eighth inning drove in the winning run to give Loyola the walk-off victory. For the week, Mannucci finished with a .750 average and a 2.000 slugging percentage.

Heather Duckworth, Missouri State
Duckworth had her best outing of the season at the plate in the victory over Southeast Missouri State on Saturday. She capped a two-out rally in the first inning with her first home run of the season, a three-run blast. Then in the fifth inning, she hit her third triple of the season, driving in another run to tie her career high with her fourth RBI of the game. In the seventh inning, she walked and later scored, her third run of the game, tying her career high. Duckworth set a career high with seven total bases in the game. She now leads the MVC with three triples this season.

Gina Brown, UNI
Gina Brown’s timely hitting at the plate played an important role in the Panthers offensive success this weekend. Brown started all four games for UNI putting together a .400 batting average after going 4-for-10 at the plate with three RBI and scoring a run of her own. Brown also worked the count to reach base on balls twice over the weekend lifting her on base percentage to .462.

Allie VadeBoncouer, Southern Illinois
Senior catcher Allie VadeBoncouer had an offensive explosion this past weekend in three games at the Coach B Classic. VadeBoncouer finished the weekend 4-for-8 at the plate with 5 RBIs, two doubles and a solo home run. In Sunday’s game vs. Miami (Ohio) alone, she went 2-for-3 with a solo shot and an RBI double to help aid in SIU’s 10-3 domination of the Redhawks.

PITCHERS
Madeline Lynch-Crumrine, Bradley
Lynch-Crumrine moved into fourth in career innings pitched at Bradley and fifth in career strikeouts, going 2-2 with a 2.02 ERA over 17.1 innings and four appearances. She surrendered two unearned runs in a 5-3 complete game effort against Ohio State and limited fourth-ranked Oregon to five hits and a total of two unearned runs. Lynch-Crumrine earned the win out of the bullpen against Syracuse and also earned the win against 2013 NCAA Tournament participant Fordham to cap the week. She tossed two complete games and limited opponents to a .234 batting average.

Regan Romshek, Illinois State
Romshek continued to assert herself as one of the most reliable pitchers in the Missouri Valley Conference last weekend, appearing in four of the Redbirds’ five games at the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic. Romshek went 1-2 for the weekend with a 2.14 ERA in two starts and two relief appearances. Her first start came against No. 25 Auburn, in which she held the potent Tigers offense to just one run before surrendering two with two outs in the seventh, as ILS lost, 3-2. After a brief relief stint against No. 17/18 Missouri, Romshek went the distance in the Redbirds’ lone victory of the weekend, a 3-2 triumph over Omaha. Romshek surrendered a two-run homer to the Mavericks, but was dominant aside from that, striking out a season-high seven batters in the win. In Sunday’s 2-0 loss to No. 4/6 Oregon, Romshek tossed 2.2 innings of scoreless relief.

Brittany Gardner, Loyola
Brittany Gardner powered Loyola to a 3-2 victory over Pac-12 powerhouse California in the Ramblers’ only game of the Mizuno Invitational this weekend. The senior gave up just two runs on three hits, striking out four in eight innings pitched. With the victory, Gardner earned her 51st career win to tie Loyola’s all-time career wins mark (51). For the week, the senior boasted 1-0 record with a 2.25 ERA, holding the Golden Bears, who have received votes in the national polls for the past two weeks, to a mere .120 average.

Chelsea Ross, UNI
Chelsea Ross picked up a pair of wins in both of her starts this weekend going 2-0 for the Panthers. Ross went the distance in both games tossing a complete 14.0 innings where she allowed 4 runs off of 6 hits and fanned 11 batters in the process. Ross limited her opponents to a .136 batting average and 2.57 era.

Katie Bertelsen, Southern Illinois
Whether it was as a starter or in relief, junior pitcher Katie Bertelsen proved invaluable to the Salukis this past weekend at the Coach B Classic where she was instrumental in Southern’s two wins. Bertelsen won her only start vs. Miami on Saturday (W, 9-0) and had two crucial runs in relief vs. Kansas (L, 4-0) and Miami again (W, 10-3). Overall, she posted a 1-0 record with a 0.62 ERA and one save in three appearances, in which she only gave up one run. That lone run snapped an 8.0 inning streak of scoreless softball. Opposing batters were only able to hit a .225 clip against her all weekend, and over her last four outings (16.1 innings) she has only given up three runs.

NEWCOMERS
Megan Gurski, Evansville
The junior transfer had another solid weekend for the Purple Aces. Gurski started the day out for Evansville in the circle, pitching 3.1 innings, allowing only 5 runs and striking out four, getting the win for UE and making her 3-2 this season. Gurski also pitched in game two of the Invitational, going 3.0 innings only allowing one run while striking out three and getting the save for Evansville. At the plate, the Saskatchewan native had six RBI, a homerun, three doubles and a batting average of .750, while scoring two runs. Megan has been a big reason why Evansville is on their five-game winning streak.

Jordan de los Reyes, Illinois State
De los Reyes solidified her status as one of the Redbirds’ best power hitters last weekend, hitting .313 (5-for-16) with two home runs and four RBI in ILS’ five games at the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic, four of which came against top 25 teams. After walking once in a loss to No. 25 Auburn, de los Reyes went 2-for-3 with a RBI in a defeat at the hands of No. 23 Notre Dame. She notched another multi-hit game against No. 17/18 Missouri, going 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored. She smashed her second long ball of the day in the 3-2 win over Omaha, her team-leading fourth of the season.

Alyssa Mannucci, Loyola
Alyssa Mannucci could not be stopped at the plate in Loyola’s only game of the Mizuno Invitational, going 3-for-4 with a home run, two doubles, two RBI and a run in the Ramblers’ 3-2 victory over Pac-12 powerhouse California. The freshman’s solo home run in the bottom of the second gave the Ramblers a 2-1 lead, and after Cal came back to tie the game, Mannucci’s double in the bottom of the eighth inning drove in the winning run to give Loyola the walk-off victory. For the week, Mannucci finished with a .750 average and a 2.000 slugging percentage.

Anna Varriano, UNI
Anna Varriano started two games at catcher for UNI this week. Varriano strung together an .800 batting average after going 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles, two RBI and scored a pair of runs for the Panthers. Varriano worked the count in one of her at-bats pushing her weekend’s on-base percentage to .833.

Shaye Harre, Southern Illinois
Freshman Shaye Harre was impressive both in the circle and at the plate in Sunday’s Coach B Classic finale. Harre earned the win to improve to 2-1 in SIU’s 10-3 victory over Miami, in which she didn’t give up a hit in 3.0 innings pitched. At the plate, Harre helped her own cause with a 2-for-4 performance that included a three-run homer and an RBI single.