MVC Player of the Week
Jayna Spivey, Southern Illinois
Jayna Spivey hit 9-for-13 (.692) with three doubles, a home run and six RBIs last week. She posted a 1.154 slugging percentage and hit the game-winning two-run double in the bottom of the seventh inning to beat Illinois State. Spivey had all five RBIs in SIU’s 5-4 win on Sunday, and her six RBIs for the week increased her school-record total to 141, good for eighth in MVC history and just five away from jumping into the top-five in MVC history. Spanning all three games of the series with Illinois State, Spivey recorded a hit in seven-consecutive at-bats. She totaled 15 bases and scored two runs, as well, and raised her season batting average to .370.
MVC Pitcher of the Week
Jamie Fisher, Northern Iowa
Jamie Fisher put together yet another impressive week in the circle going 3-0 with a midweek triumph over Iowa State University and a pair of wins against Indiana State. Fisher’s shutdown performance this week featured 17.1 innings of work where she limited her opponents to just three earned runs on 12 hits. Fisher accumulated a 1.21 ERA and picked up a pair of shutouts. Fisher surrendered just 5 walks and fanned 14 opponents while keeping her opponents batting average to just .203 throughout the week.
MVC Newcomer of the Week
Chelsea Ross, Northern Iowa
Sophomore pitcher for the Panthers Chelsea Ross had an outstanding week both in the circle as well as the batter’s box. Ross had a dominant presence against Indiana State picking up a win in game two on Saturday before relieving Fisher of her duties on Sunday. Ross tossed 9.2 innings this week where she limited opponents to 7 hits, 1 earned run and fanned 15 opponents. Ross limited her opponents to just a .206 batting average and surrendered just 1 walk. Offensively Ross was a threat at the plate batting .400 throughout the week in her 4 starts. Ross went 4-for-10 while plating a pair of runs for the Panthers. Ross lifted her slugging percentage to an impressive .571 with a pair of extra bases which featured a double and a homer and a pair of runners batted in.
Other notable performances:
Brianne Joseph, Bradley
Joseph collected hits in each of Bradley’s three games, going 4-for-9 with a run, double, triple and two RBI as she helped Bradley take two of three games from Loyola. In the series opener, she was 1-for-3 with a double in a 3-2 victory against the Ramblers. Joseph drove in the first run of Saturday’s 4-2 victory with a two-out triple in the third inning. With Bradley trailing 2-1 in the fifth inning, she smacked a RBI single to tie the game at 2-2 and later scored as she helped the Braves improve to 8-3 in conference play for the first time since 1986 to cap a 2-for-3 outing, which included a run scored and a pair of RBI. Sunday, Joseph was 1-for-3 with a seventh-inning sacrifice bunt as she moved into a tie for 10th in school history with her 150th career hit.
Laura Brewer, Drake
Laura Brewer blistered the softball last week as she hit .615 (8-for-13) at the plate to help Drake finish with a 4-1 record. Brewer started the week with a 3-for-4 performance along with a run and a RBI against Iowa of the Big 10. She followed that with another three hits, including a key two-run home run in the team’s opening game victory over Missouri State. Brewer finished the week with a home run, two runs scored, two doubles, three RBI, .643 on-base percentage and a 1.000 slugging percentage
Stephanie Gallant, Illinois State
Gallant hit .357/.357/.786 with two home runs and 10 RBI this past week, as she played a key role in the Redbirds’ record-setting offensive performance at Southern Illinois. After going 1-for-3 in Tuesday’s loss to Illinois, Gallant exploded in Saturday’s doubleheader against the Salukis, going 4-for-8 with two home runs, 10 RBI and three runs scored, as the Redbirds outscored SIU 31-2. Gallant set a career-high with five RBI in game one and matched that in game two, doing deep once in each contest. The 10 RBI doubled her season total to 20, while the two homers were her second and third of the 2014 campaign.
Shelby Wilson, Indiana State
Senior infielder Shelby Wilson finished the week for the Sycamores going 8-15 at the plate for a .533 average to lead the team. Wilson added three doubles, a home run with two runs scored and six RBI’s and had a sacrifice. The senior had a .933 slugging percentage and .563 on base percentage on the week and a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.
Lauren Moore, Loyola
Loyola University Chicago senior Lauren Moore continued her hot hitting streak this weekend against Bradley, hitting .500 (5-for-10) with one home run and two doubles to power the Ramblers to one win over the Braves. The senior’s home run in Loyola’s sole victory was her 25th career home run and with it, the senior slugger needs just seven roundtrippers to tie Loyola’s all-time mark (32) in that category. Moore also scored three runs and drove in one run, boasting a 1.000 slugging percentage. After getting hit by a pitch in the eighth inning of the final game, the senior was smart on the base paths and scored the winning run to give Loyola their sole victory of the weekend.
Caitlin Wnek, Northern Iowa
Sophomore shortstop for the Panthers Caitlin Wnek was a threat at the plate this week after starting all four games for UNI and going 6-for-14 in the batter’s box with a .429 average. Wnek tallied 5 extra bases in those 6 hits which featured a trio of doubles and a pair of homers while tallying 5 runners batted in. Wnek also worked the count to draw a pair of walks and lift her on-base percentage to .500 on the week. After reaching base she tacked on a stolen base en route to her 6 runs scored throughout the week. Errorless on defense Wnek had 7 putouts and 9 assists.
Brittany Fortner, Wichita State
A sophomore from Cedar Hill, Mo., Brittany Fortner led Wichita State in its weekend series with Evansville, hitting .800 (8-for-10) on the weekend that included two doubles, three RBIs, and five runs scored, while boasting a 1.000 slugging and .818 on-base percentages.
The outfielder hit 833 (5-for-6) on Saturday with a double, two runs scored and three RBIs to go along with her 1.000 slugging and .857 on-base percentages to lead the Shockers to a 12-4 victory in game two.
Fortner hit 3-for-4 with a double and two stolen bases in the final game of the series against Evansville as the Wichita State softball team defeated the Purple Aces, 8-3 Sunday at Cooper Stadium. On the season, Fortner lifted her batting average to .319 and is second on the team in doubles with nine.
Madeline Lynch-Crumrine, Bradley
Lynch-Crumrine went 1-1 with a save in three appearances as she struck out 18 batters and walked just four in 16 innings of work in the three-game series against Loyola. She opened the weekend by striking out a career-high nine hitters in a 3-2 victory against the Ramblers to open the series. After tossing a complete game to earn her 40th career victory in the opener, she came out of the bullpen in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader with no outs in the seventh and the potential tying run at the plate to earn her first save of the year in a 4-2 Bradley win. Lynch-Crumrine was a hard-luck loser on Sunday, going the distance in a 4-3 eight-inning loss. She struck out seven and walked just one in the setback as she tied Ashley Birdsong’s school career record with her 135th career appearance in the circle.
Rebekah Schmidt, Drake
Rebekah Schmidt played a key role in the circle and at the plate this past week for the Bulldogs. Schmidt earned three wins in 11.2 innings pitched with a 2.40 earned run average in three appearances. She allowed four runs on 10 hits, while striking out nine and holding opponents to just a .233 batting average. She tossed five innings and allowed just one run against Iowa to pick up her first win of the week. At the plate, she hit a stellar .455 (5-for-11) with two RBI and four doubles for the week.
Megan Gurski, Evansville
The junior from Dalmeny, Saskatchewan had three very strong performances in the circle for Evansville, despite the teams losing record. Gurski had a 3.89 ERA in 18.0 innings of work, striking out 19, leading to a 1-2 record for the Aces’ Ace. Against Wichita State, Gurski went 1-1, pitching a complete game, striking out 10 in 11.0 innings of work. With these 19 strikeouts, Gurski is now second in the Valley with 94 strikeouts.
Taylor Baxter, Illinois State
Baxter made one start and one relief appearance last week for the Redbirds, and went 1-0 with a 1.91 ERA. She tossed 3.0 innings out of the pen against Illinois, Tuesday, and surrendered just two earned runs. Baxter got the starting nod in game two of Saturday’s doubleheader at Southern Illinois, and threw 4.1 scoreless frames to earn her fourth win in as many decisions. After getting off to a shaky start during non-conference play, the 2013 All-MVC Second Team performer and preseason all-conference choice is 4-0 with a 2.91 ERA in Valley games.
Brittany Gardner, Loyola
Senior Brittany Gardner powered Loyola to a complete game win over Bradley this past weekend, posting a 3.00 ERA with a 1-1 record over 14 innings pitched. In the first game of the series, the senior hurler struck out a season-high eight batters and limited the Bears to just two hits until the seventh inning. In her series finale victory, Gardner struck out another six batters over eight innings pitched. With both complete gates under her belt, the lefty upped her career total to 637.1 innings pitched and now needs just 6.2 innings of work to tie Loyola’s all-time mark (644.0) in that category.
Jessie Van Es, Missouri State
Van Es came up huge for the Bears in three appearances this week. The sophomore hurler tossed a complete game four-hit shutout at Drake on Saturday, her second shutout of the season. On Sunday, she pitched the first 2.1 innings against Drake and struck out four while not allowing a walk. Van Es also tossed a scoreless inning of relief at Arkansas on Tuesday, allowing just one hit to the Razorbacks. In 10.1 innings of work this week, she did not allow a run, struck out seven and walked just two hitters. This season, she is 3-1 in conference decisions and leads the MVC with a 1.19 ERA in league games.
Katie Bertelsen, Southern Illinois
Katie Bertelsen won both games for SIU on the weekend, including a zero earned-runs performance in a complete game run-rule win over Murray State on Tuesday. Bertelsen improved her record to 9-6 for the season and posted a 4.29 ERA over 16.1 innings this week. She also got a win in a complete game over Illinois State Sunday. Bertelsen struck out six batters and allowed opponents to hit just .275 against her for the week.
Jaelen Hull, Bradley
Hull had one of her best outings of the season in the first home game of her career, earning the victory in Saturday’s second game against Loyola. She pitched six innings, limiting the Ramblers to six hits and just one earned run (two runs total) in a 4-2 Bradley victory. Hull carried a no hitter into the fourth and did not surrender an extra-base hit in six-plus innings against the Ramblers.
Chandra Parr, Evansville
Parr had a very solid week for the Aces, as the freshman from Anna, Illinois had one of her better weeks this season. Parr had the third highest batting percentage on the team, hitting .300 in 10 at bats, scoring two runs on three hits. Parr doubled her season total of homeruns by hitting two this weekend, giving her four on the season and drove in three RBI. The Aces left fielder had a team leading .900 slugging percentage and also had a walk and a hit by pitch. Parr played in four out the five games for Evansville, and would’ve played in all five had she not dislocated her pinky in the second game against Wichita. Parr hit one of her homers on Sunday, after she suffered the injury.
Jordan de los Reyes, Illinois State
While she did not add to her league-leading home run total, de los Reyes still contributed to ILS’ record-setting offensive weekend by hitting .429/.500/.571 with four RBI and four runs scored. She tallied two hits and drove in at least one run in each contest of the three-game series at Southern Illinois, which the Redbirds claimed, 2-1. The freshman went 2-for-4 with one RBI, a double and a career-high three runs scored in game one, as the Redbirds set a program-record with 20 runs. She was 2-for-4 with two RBI, a double and a run scored in the 11-0 game two victory, before going 2-for-3 with one RBI in the series finale. De los Reyes is still tied for the league-lead with eight home runs, and ranks tied for fourth with 30 RBI.
Lauren Moore, Loyola
Loyola University Chicago freshman Alyssa Mannucci continued her success this weekend against Bradley, hitting .375 (3-for-8) with three RBI. The freshman was integral to the Ramblers’ success throughout the weekend, particularly in the final game when she stepped to the plate in the top of the eighth inning with a runner on first and singled through the left side to move that runner—who ultimately scored the winning run-- into scoring position. Earlier in the game, the freshman also crushed a sacrifice fly to left field to score one and give the Ramblers a two-run lead.
Macklin Hitz, Wichita State
Macklin Hitz went 3-for-7 (.429) on the weekend, including two home runs, six RBIs and three runs scored to help lead the Shockers to a 2-1 record over Evansville and keep Wichita State in contention for first place in the MVC. Hitz earned the starting DH spot in the second game and didn’t disappoint, hitting .750 (3-for-4) with a go-ahead home run in the second inning, connecting again in the seventh andracking up five RBIs to lift the Shockers to a 12-4 victory. The freshman from Tulsa, Okla., had an impressive 2.250 slugging percentage to go along wither a .750 on-base percentage in the second game for Wichita State. Hitz led the Shockers on the weekend with a 1.286 slugging percentage, six RBIs and two homeruns.