MVC Softball Weekly Release (March 20)
Monday, March 20, 2017
MVC Softball Weekly Release (March 20)

RPI: Five in top-100
Five Missouri Valley Conference teams – Illinois State (62), Evansville (73), Wichita State (74), Drake (81) and UNI (90) – are among the nation’s top-100 teams in the March 20 NCAA RPI ratings.

NCAA-Leading Marks

In the NCAA Division I softball rankings, four teams and 13 MVC student-athletes have top-30 rankings: 

Loyola (22nd) - Earned Run Average

Wichita State (9th) - Doubles per game
                     (29th) - Slugging Percentage
                     (30th) - Batting Average
                     (30th) - Home Runs per game

Southern Illinois (28th) - Fielding Percentage

Indiana State (10th) - Double Plays per game
                      (26th) - Scoring
                      (26th) - Stolen Bases per game

Caitlyn McCarron, Bradley (6th) - Doubles
                                       (15th) - Batting Average
                                       (28th) - Hits

Shaye Harre, Southern Illinois (20th) - Doubles
                                              (7th) - Walks
                                              (13th) - On Base Percentage

Kelly Kapp, Bradley (16th) - Batting Average
                              (4th) - Hits
                              (3rd) - Stolen Bases
                              (27th) - Runs per game

Nicole Newman, Drake (5th) - Strikeouts per Seven Innings
                                   (T22nd) - Saves

Morgan Florey, Evansville (18th) - Strikeouts per Seven Innings
                                       (20th) - Strikeouts

Katie Malone, Wichita State (12th) - Victories

Della Gher, Indiana State (3rd) - Saves

Jaelen Hull, Bradley (6th) - Saves

Kaitlin Beason, Missouri State (T22nd) - Saves
                                             (16th) - Shutouts

Kiley Jones, Loyola (T22nd) - Saves

Erika Crissman, Indiana State (14th) - Toughest to Strikeout

Madison Jones, Missouri State (T24th) - Triples

Erika Velasquez Zimmer, Missouri State (T24th) - Triples


MVC Player of the Week
Jordan de los Reyes, Illinois State
Jordan de los Reyes opened conference play with a bang, going 7-for-10 with a 1.100 slugging percentage. The senior led the Redbirds with seven RBI and seven hits during the week. She failed to strikeout while being walked four times at Indiana State. On Saturday alone, de los Reyes went 6-for-8 with three runs and seven RBI in the Redbirds first conference sweep since 2015. Additionally, de los Reyes slugged her 41st career home run against Indiana State to now sit only two away from the third place spot in the ISU record book. The catcher logged 13 putouts with two assists on the week. De los Reyes’ stellar weekend improved her season average to .355 while leading the team with a .671 slugging percentage.

MVC Pitcher of the Week
Morgan Florey, Evansville
Sophomore Morgan Florey made three starts on the week, earning three wins and throwing a complete game each time, including a shutout over Loyola in the series opener. In 21 innings of work, she gave up just three earned runs while striking out an unbelievable 37 batters while walking just four. Opponents batted just .169 against her. In Tuesday’s home opener against Northern Illinois, Florey went seven innings allowing two runs on six hits while tying her career mark with 14 strikeouts. She brought her best stuff once again in Saturday’s Valley opener versus Loyola, throwing a 1-hit shutout while fanning 11 batters. Sunday’s finale saw her help UE to its first MVC series sweep since 2012 as she threw seven more innings, allowing one run on five hits while striking out 12. At that plate, she hit a 3-run walk-off home run to clinch the victory.

MVC Newcomer of the Week
Susie Baranski, Southern Illinois
Susie Baranski stepped up big this past week for SIU at the plate. The freshman had seven hits in 15 at bats and drew one walk. During the stretch she batted .467, and had an on base percentage and a slugging percentage over .500. The most impressive part of Baranski’s weekend was the amount of runs she batted in. Hitting primarily from the No. 1 or 2 spot in the order, Baranski batted in five RBIs for the maroon and white. Once on base she also was aggressive on the paths, scoring four runs for Southern.

Other notable performances:

Kelly Kapp - Bradley
Kapp had multiple hits in all three games of Bradley’s series at Southern Illinois, hitting .600 (6-for-10) with three runs scored and five stolen bases as she became the all-time steals leader in program history. In the series opener, Kapp was 2-for-3 with a run and three stolen bases as she tied Tara Pearson’s school career steals mark at 88. She followed it up with 2-for-4 effort with a stolen base in an extra-inning setback to the Salukis to break Pearson’s school record and move into second in MVC history with her 89th career steal. In Sunday’s comeback victory, Kapp was 2-for-3 with a stolen base, scoring the game’s first run in the first after leading off the game with a single. She also had a sacrifice bunt in the second. With Bradley trailing 5-4 in the seventh, Kapp led off the inning with a single and scored the tying run later in the frame. She became the third player in program history to collect 200 hits over the weekend and is now nine hits from breaking Bradley’s career hits record. Kapp’s five stolen bases on the week pushed her career-best season steal total to 33, which is third among school season marks and tied for fifth in MVC history.

Michal Luckett - Evansville
Senior infielder Michal Luckett batted .455 as the Purple Aces had a perfect 4-0 week. In 11 at-bats, Luckett registered five hits including a home run and four RBI. She had two doubles while scoring a total of four runs. Luckett drew two walks to register an on-base percentage of .538 while slugging .909. After drawing a walk against Northern Illinois in the week’s opener, she took her efforts to a new level, hitting .556 against Loyola. In a 1-0 win in the series opener against the Ramblers, Luckett scored the winning run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Game two saw her have one of the top games any UE player has had this season -0 going 3-3 with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored. She notched a 2-3 performance in the series finale and drew one of UE’s 2-out walks that saw the team walk it off in the seventh.

Erica Nagel - Loyola
Nagel hit .333 (3-for-9) with two walks and a pair of stolen bases in three games at Evansville last weekend. A First Team All-MVC and Second Team NFCA All-Region pick a year ago, the senior outfielder singled, walked twice, stole a base and scored a run in game two of a doubleheader at Evansville on March 18. She then went 2-for-4 and swiped a base in a walk-off loss to the Purple Aces in the series finale. For the year, Nagel is batting .284 (23-for-81) with 17 runs and seven RBI. Her 10 stolen bases are a career best.

Erika Velasquez Zimmer - Missouri State
The standout outfielder batted a team-best .444 in five games for the week, collecting 8 hits and 9 total bases. Her efforts helped the Bears to a pair of non-conference road wins with 2 RBI at UCA and then a 4-for-4 performance in MSU’s win at Oklahoma State. She extended her career-best hitting streak to 13 games during the week and also accounted for 7 putouts with an assist from her centerfield post.

Anna Varriano - UNI
Varriano assisted the Panthers in their series win against Missouri State over the weekend with her .778 slg%. She led the Panthers to a win during the second game after being the first to score with a home run into left field and giving UNI the momentum. She had a total of three rbi’s that game to give the Panthers a 6-2 victory over the Grizzlies. Her 1.000 fld% and strong leadership helped give UNI the series win.

Merri Anne Patterson - Southern Illinois
This past week Merri Anne Patterson came up big at the plate for the maroon and white. Patterson batted .538 during the four game stretch and racked up 7 hits in 13 at bats. During the team’s final game against Bradley this past weekend, Patterson had three hits, had two critical RBIs, and scored a run. The Saluki senior finished the weekend with an on base percentage and a slugging percentage over .500. Not only was she getting on base, but she was also being a threat on paths. Patterson swiped three bases in three attempts. She has nine on the year and has only been caught once.

Laurie Derrico - Wichita State
Derrico helped lead the Shockers to a 3-1 week, sweeping Drake to begin Missouri Valley Conference play and falling to No. 12 LSU on Thursday in heartbreaking fashion. On the week, Derrico hit .462 and drove in 8 RBI, including a giant grand slam in the Shockers 10-0 victory over Drake on Saturday. On Saturday, the Shocker began conference play, and Derrico went 2-for-3, including the grand slam. In game two on Saturday, she went 1-for-3 and drove in a run in Wichita State’s 6-5 walk-off victory. To finish the weekend, Derrico went 3-for-4 and drove in three runs to help the Shockers get the sweep of Drake.

Sarah Finck - Illinois State
Sarah Finck threw three complete games, allowing a mere four earned runs in 20.2 innings. The junior struck out eight between the pair of league games on Friday and Saturday, holding her opponents to a .125 average. After one hit in each of the first two innings on Friday, Finck tossed a five-inning no-hitter to close the game. On Saturday, Finck allowed four total hits throughout the game, two in the fourth inning and two in the seventh. She also assisted a career-high, six putouts in the game. The junior improved her record to 9-6 while continuing to drop her ERA to 2.68.

Kiley Jones - Loyola
Jones went 0-2 with a 2.87 ERA and eight strikeouts in 15.2 innings of work, while appearing in all three of Loyola’s games at Evansville last week. The right-hander was the hard-luck loser in a 1-0 decision in game one of a doubleheader at Evansville on March 18, despite striking out five and scattering five hits in 6.0 innings of work. She then allowed on earned run and fanned three in 3.0 innings of relief in the nightcap of the twin bill. Jones held the Purple Aces to one run through six innings, before being saddled with the loss in a 4-1 walk-off defeat in March 19. She is 9-4 with a 1.78 ERA, two saves and 62 strikeouts in 101.0 innings of work this year.

Holly Kelley - Missouri State
Kelley went 2-1 in the circle in five appearances (two starts) with a 2.80 ERA in 15.0 innings of work. She defeated UCA in a key road non-conference win, and then pitched 3.0 shutout innings in relief at Oklahoma State to secure a 7-3 win against a Big 12 team receiving national votes. Kelley also pitched a shutout inning in relief in Saturday’s 6-0 MVC win over UNI at home and appeared in the other two games against the Panthers as well.

Alyssa Buchanan - UNI
Buchanan started in two games for UNI against Missouri State and took the win for both. With an 1.66 era, Buchanan pitched 12.2 innings and only allowed a total of three runs in two games. She led UNI to two conference wins beating Missouri State 6-2 on Saturday and 3-2 on Sunday in an eight inning match. Buchanan also had one home run and a .750 slg% for the weekend series.

Savanna Dover - Southern Illinois
Savanna Dover added two more wins to resume this past week. The Saluki junior went a perfect 2-0, and pitched two complete games. In those victories, Dover allowed eight hits in 13 innings of work, holding batters to a .204 batting average. Dover’s best game was an eight inning affair with Bradley on Saturday. In the game Dover allowed only one run the entire game and only gave up four hits, none of them being extra base hits. The two wins move her to 5-2 on the season and give her an ERA of 2.20.

Katie Malone - Wichita State
Katie Malone had another stellar week, throwing in all four games and starting three of them. Malone had a record of 3-1 on the week and threw 25 of Wichita State’s 28 innings. In those four games, she gave up a total of five earned runs for an ERA of 1.40, while striking out 13 batters. Malone’s only loss of the week came in heartbreaking fashion on Thursday against LSU. Malone pitched all eight innings and allowed just three earned runs against the No. 12 team in the nation. She also struck out three Tigers. In game one against Drake, she threw four of the five innings and collected her second win, allowing just one hit in the game. In game two, she entered the game in the third inning and pitched the final six innings, striking out four and allowing two runs on four hits, as the Shockers defeated Drake on a walk-off. Malone then started the final game of the weekend and threw her second complete game of the week, striking out three and allowing zero earned runs on five hits to give Wichita State the sweep over Drake.

Brittany Hay - Evansville
Junior transfer Brittany Hay was the leader of the pack for the Purple Aces over the last week, leading the squad with a .545 batting average. Hay posted six hits in 11 at-bats while scoring a team-high seven runs. She drew two walks while getting on base 64.3% of the time. She slugged .909 on the week while notching two doubles, a triple and a steal. Against NIU, Hay went 2-2 with three runs scored as the Aces grabbed a 4-2 win over the Huskies in the home opener. She started league play off going 1-2 with a walk before completing the doubleheader with a 2-4 effort from the plate while scoring twice. Hay was at it again in the series finale, scoring two runs while recording a hit and a walk. That pivotal base on balls came in the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs as she would later score the winning run for UE.

Shannon McGee - Loyola
McGee hit .143 (1for-7) and drove in a run in three games at Evansville last weekend. The freshman outfielder tied the game with a RBI single in the top of the sixth inning of an eventual walk-off loss to the Purple Aces on March 19. In the series opener, she also drew a walk. For the year, McGee, who has played error-free defense in the outfield, is hitting .264 (19-for-72) with 13 RBI.

Holly Kelley - Missouri State
Kelley went 2-1 in the circle in five appearances (two starts) with a 2.80 ERA in 15.0 innings of work. She defeated UCA in a key road non-conference win, and then pitched 3.0 shutout innings in relief at Oklahoma State to secure a 7-3 win against a Big 12 team receiving national votes. Kelley also pitched a shutout inning in relief in Saturday’s 6-0 MVC win over UNI at home and appeared in the other two games against the Panthers as well.

Madison Perrigan - Wichita State
Madison Perrigan started all four games this week at catcher, as the Shockers went 3-1 on the week with three wins against Drake and a tough loss to No. 12 LSU on Thursday. In her four game, Perrigan hit .333 and with one double and drove in four runs for the Shockers, while scoring one run of her own. To begin the weekend, Perrigan went 2-for-2 against Drake in game one and drove in two runs in the Shockers’ run-rule win over the Bulldogs. In game two, Perrigan went 1-for-4 and threw out three baserunners trying to steal on her. In the final game of the weekend, she went 1-for-2 and helped the Shockers start Missouri Valley Conference play with a perfect 3-0 record.