Monday, April 28, 2014 | Softball
Softball Weekly Release (April 28)

RPI: Three in top-100
Three Missouri Valley Conference teams – Illinois State (62), Wichita State (82) and Northern Iowa (84) – are among the nation’s top-100 teams in the April 21 NCAA RPI ratings.

MVC Player of the Week
Kelsey Gonzalez, Sophomore, Bolingbrook, Ill. - Southern Illinois
Kelsey Gonzalez slugged .933 on a huge week in which the Salukis took two of three games from league-leader Wichita State. She hit two double and two home runs on her way to six RBIs and 14 total bases. She also walked three times for an even .500 batting average and struck out just once in 18 plate appearances. She posted a 3-for-3 day with three RBIs and four runs scored in SIU’s 10-3 win to sweep the Shockers in Saturday’s doubleheader, and she also had a 2-for-2, three RBIs, and two runs scored game in a run-rule win over UT-Martin on Thursday. Her numbers against Wichita were even better than her weekly numbers; Gonzalez hit .444 with a 1.000 slugging percentage and .545 OB% in the three-game series.

MVC Pitcher of the Week
Regan Romshek, Sophomore, Gibson City, Ill. - Illinois State
Romshek continued to establish herself as one of the league’s best pitchers by posting a 1.17 ERA in 24.0 innings pitched last week. She went 3-0 and earned a save in her four appearances, which included a shutout and three complete games. She now leads the MVC with 200.1 innings pitched, is tied for the league-lead with 16 wins, and ranks first among pitchers who have primarily been used as starters with a 2.66 ERA. The right hander started the week by surrendering only two earned runs in a complete game win over Bradley. She followed up that performance by allowing only two runs in 17.0 innings pitched during the Redbirds’ three-game sweep at Missouri State, during which she earned two wins and a save. Romshek has thrown complete games in each of her last eight starts, and is 6-0 with a save in her last seven appearances.

MVC Newcomer of the Week
Shaye Harre, Freshman, Nashville, Ill. - Southern Illinois
Shaye Harre had yet another huge week at the plate for the Salukis. She hit .471 to go along with a .706 slugging percentage and .500 on-base percentage. She hit a clutch two-out RBI to score a huge run in SIU’s 2-1 win over Wichita State in the opener. She had five RBIs, a double, a home run and three runs scored on the week. She hit .545 with all five of those RBIs in SIU’s huge series win over league-leader Wichita State over the weekend. With 42 RBIs this season, Harre ranks second in the MVC, eighth in SIU history, and second among freshman in SIU history, trailing only teammate Taylor Orsburn’s 49 RBIs in 2011.

Other notable performances:

PLAYERS
Marina Groenewegen, Bradley
Groenewegen hit a team-best .333 for the week with a pair of home runs and five RBI and she scored or drove in five of Bradley’s 10 runs for the week. She opened the week with a 2-for-3 effort at I-74 rival Illinois State, slugging pair of home runs against the league-leading Redbirds. She followed it up with a 1-for-3 effort in the series opener against Northern Iowa to extend her career-best hit streak to seven games. In the final home game of her career, Groenewegen was 1-for-3 with a two-run single to help Bradley push its school record conference win total to 14 with a 5-2 victory against pre-season league favorite UNI Sunday. She moved into a tie for the team-lead with her 27th RBI of the year.

Laura Brewer, Drake
Laura Brewer had another outstanding week at the plate for the Drake Bulldogs as she guided the team to a 3-1 overall record. Brewer blasted three home runs in the four games, including the go-ahead blast in the 12th inning of Sunday’s win over Indiana State. She has hit seven home runs in the last seven games and leads the team with nine on the season along with a team-leading 31 runs batted in.

Laura Canopy, Illinois State
Canopy was an on-base machine in the Redbirds’ four wins last week, reaching at a .750 clip while also hitting .600 (6-for-10) with a home run, three RBI and six runs scored. The senior’s OBP has climbed all the way up to .527, the second-best in the MVC, due in large part to league-bests in walks (35) and hit by pitches (20). By reaching in all four games last week, Canopy is in the midst of a team-best 23 game on-base streak. In the Redbirds’ 6-3 win over Bradley, Tuesday, Canopy scored twice and reached in all four trips to the plate on three hit by pitches and a walk. In Saturday’s doubleheader at Missouri State, Canopy combined to go 4-for-6 with three runs, including a game-winning homer in game one. She rounded out her phenomenal week with a 2-for-4 performance in game three that also included one RBI and one run scored.

Abbie Malchow, Indiana State
Sophomore Abbie Malchow led the Sycamores over the four games the team played this week, hitting .571 including a perfect 4-4 performance during the doubleheader with Drake on Saturday. Malchow hit her first home run of the season and her first career triple during the weekend for a 1.286 slugging percentage and a hit a sacrifice fly for a total of three RBI’s and nine total bases. Malchow also had a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage while splitting time at first base.

Annie Korth, Loyola
Loyola University Chicago junior Annie Korth continued her hot-hitting streak at the plate this week, hitting .467 (7-for-15) over six games to lead Loyola to a 5-1 record this week. After going 1-for-1 in Loyola’s first win this week over Indiana State, Korth collected two more hits in Loyola’s sweep of Northern Illinois and also scored two runs for the Ramblers. The junior then hit .500 (4-for-8) in Loyola’s series win over Evansville, hitting her first home run of the season—a walk off—to end the second game in run-rule fashion. Korth posted four RBI in the series with Evansville and boasted a whopping 1.000 slugging percentage over the three games. Like she has all season, the junior was perfect in left field, finishing the week with six putouts for a 1.000 fielding percentage.

Ali Vandever, Wichita State
Vandever led the Shockers in the weekend series against Southern Illinois, hitting .571 (4-for-7) in her final home series in a Wichita State uniform. The Davenport, Okla., native hit two doubles with a RBI and a run scored to go along with a .857 slugging and .625 on-base percentages. On the week, Vandever hit .417, going 5-for-12 at the plate for the Shockers.

PITCHERS
Jaelen Hull, Bradley
Hull was 1-0 with a complete game shutout and perfect 0.00 ERA in two appearances last week as she limited hitters to a .161 batting average over her 9.0 innings of work against the top two squads in the pre-season Missouri Valley Conference poll. Hull opened the week with 2.0 innings out of the bullpen Tuesday at I-74 rival Illinois State, giving up no hits and one unearned run in relief. In her only start of the week, Hull pitched the first complete game shutout of her career with a five-hit shutout of pre-season Valley favorite Northern Iowa. The Panthers did not advance past second base against Hull in the 1-0 Bradley victory as she helped the Braves earn their school record 13th conference win of the year Saturday and hold on to fourth in the league standings.

Rebekah Schmidt, Drake
Rebekah Schmidt compiled a 2-0 overall record along with a stellar 1.15 earned run average last week in helping the Bulldogs to a 3-1 record. Schmidt started the week off with a win over UNI as she tossed 5.2 innings and allowed just one run, while striking out seven. At the plate, she blasted a two-run home run. She capped the week off with 9.2 innings of work in Sunday’s extra innings victory at Indiana State. She allowed just one run, while striking out seven and she collected a team-high three hits at the plate.

Megan Gurski, Evansville
Megan Gurski has continued her success in the circle for the Aces as the junior went 1-1 this past week including a save against conference rival Southern Illinois. Gurski had a 2.52 ERA against the Salukis and the Ramblers and made appearances in three out of the four games. The Saskatchewan native threw 16.2 innings, struck out four and allowed only seven runs. Gurski now has a 9-13 record on the season and has thrown 140.0 innings and struck out 119 batters, good enough for fifth in the MVC and best on the Aces squad.

Brittany Gardne, Loyola
Senior Brittany Gardner was a workhorse for Loyola University Chicago this past week, pitching Loyola to three wins over six games and boasting a 1.35 ERA. The lefthander was first given the ball against Indiana State and threw a complete-game win to lift the Ramblers over the Sycamores in the series, fanning six in the process. She then earned a save in Loyola’s first win over Northern Illinois after being brought into the circle in the sixth inning and giving up just one hit over two innings pitched to secure Loyola’s 4-3 win. The senior was again brought on to pitch in the second inning of the second game of the doubleheader against Northern Illinois, this time throwing eight complete innings and striking out seven to lead Loyola to its 10th-inning comeback victory. Over the weekend, Gardner was the tough-luck loser in game one of Loyola’s series to Evansville, fanning a season-high nine batters in the first game but falling victim to several Loyola fielding errors in a close loss, 2-1. She bounced right back in game three, however, quieting the Evansville bats when she allowed just two hits and fanned seven on Senior Day in her final start at Loyola Softball Park. The Purple Aces hit just .180 against the senior.

Taylor Orsburn, Southern Illinois
Taylor Orsburn went 2-0 with a 0.58 ERA in two SIU complete-game wins last week. Orsburn pitched her first career complete-game shutout in SIU’s 9-0 win over UT-Martin on Thursday, a five-inning run-rule game. She pitched another gem in the second game of a doubleheader at Wichita State, limiting the best offense in the league to just one earned run in SIU’s 10-3 victory to make SIU the first Valley team this year to win a series against the Shockers. She allowed only three extra-base hits in 12 innings pitched and gave up only two walks. She limited opponents to a .271 average.

NEWCOMERS
Jaelen Hull, Bradley
Hull was 1-0 with a complete game shutout and perfect 0.00 ERA in two appearances last week as she limited hitters to a .161 batting average over her 9.0 innings of work against the top two squads in the pre-season Missouri Valley Conference poll. Hull opened the week with 2.0 innings out of the bullpen Tuesday at I-74 rival Illinois State, giving up no hits and one unearned run in relief. In her only start of the week, Hull pitched the first complete game shutout of her career with a five-hit shutout of pre-season Valley favorite Northern Iowa. The Panthers did not advance past second base against Hull in the 1-0 Bradley victory as she helped the Braves earn their school record 13th conference win of the year Saturday and hold on to fourth in the league standings.

Megan Sowa, Drake
Megan Sowa is having an outstanding first season for the Blue and the White as she is hitting a team-leading .365 and has the most hits on the team with 46. This past week she finished with a .353 average along with a home run, three runs scored, four runs batted in and six hits. She went 2-for-4 with a home run and three runs batted in Wednesday’s win over UNI.

Chandra Parr, Evansville
Freshman Chandra Parr has been the Aces best offensive threat as of late. The outfielder from Anna, Illinois has had a veteran-like presence at the plate this season. Parr hit her 10th homerun of the season against Southern Illinois on Tuesday, tying her for second in Missouri Valley Conference play and moving up to fourth on the Evansville Individual Season Career records list. Parr also had two RBIs this past week and was walked one time. She started all four games for UE and had a .455 slugging percentage. Parr is now hitting .305 on the season and has a team leading 29 RBIs, 10 HRs and has been walked 14 times and has six HBP. Her defensive play has also been stellar for UE, as she has 52 putouts and a .964 fielding percentage.

Annie Heineman, Illinois State
Heineman is in the midst of a late-season emergence that continued this past week. The freshman outfielder hit .375 (3-for-8) with two runs scored and two RBI in ILS’ 4-0 slate. Against Bradley, Tuesday, Heineman appeared off the bench and went 1-for-3 with a RBI and a run scored. She followed up that performance by going 1-for-2 with a run and RBI in game one of the Missouri State series, before being rewarded with her first start since March 1 in the series finale on Sunday, in which she went 1-for-3. More than half of Heineman’s hits (five of nine) and RBI (four of six) this season have come in the last two weeks.

Jacquelyn Murphy, Loyola
Freshman Jacquelyn Murphy was inserted into the Loyola lineup this week and rose to the occasion, hitting .313(5-for-16) with one home run and four RBI over the Ramblers’ six games. The freshman’s solo home run in the first game of Loyola’s doubleheader against Northern Illinois proved to be the game winner, as the blast gave Loyola the one-run lead they needed to earn the victory. Murphy followed it up with another clutch hit in the second game against Northern Illinois, this time a two-run bases-loaded single to flip the game in Loyola’s favor early on in the contest. After being down 0-2 in the bottom of the tenth inning, the freshman then worked a full-count walk to but two runners on for Loyola in the Ramblers’ eventual comeback win in the frame. Murphy then hit .375 (3-for-8) in this weekend’s series against Evansville, scoring twice and knocking in one run.

Rikki Alcaraz, UNI
Junior third basemen for the Panthers Rikki Alcaraz had an impressive week at the plate going 5-for-13 and putting together a .385 batting average. Alcaraz’s week was highlighted by a two-run homer early in game one against Bradley on Saturday which held to be to game winning score. Alcaraz tacked on an additional extra base hit this week with a double and worked the count to draw a walk which bumped her on-base percentage up to .429 for the week.

Cacy Williams, Wichita State
Williams continued to be a force at the plate for the Shockers, hitting a team-high .429 (6-for-14) infive games with a double, home run, RBI and five runs scored to go along with a .714 slugging and .556 on-base percentages. The sophomore from Platte City,Mo., hit .556 on the weekend, going 5-for-9 at the plate, drawing two walks and leading the team with 23 putouts in the Southern Illinois series. Williams went a perfect 4-for-4 in game two against the Salukis, which included her 13th home run on the season, a double and a RBI.