By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - LeeAnn Lopez of Oklahoma City has been tabbed as the NAIA National Softball Player of the Week and Maddie Monroe of Reinhardt (Ga.) has been named the NAIA National Softball Pitcher of the Week, the national office announced Tuesday. Lopez and Monroe were chosen based on their performances from March 26 - April 1 out of a pool of conference player of the week selections among 24 conference/independent/unaffiliated groupings.
Lopez, a 5-foot-6 junior first baseman from Grand Prairie, Texas, helped Oklahoma City defeat two Top-25 teams last week. Overall, she batted .529 with nine hits and four homers in a four-game stretch. She also drove in seven runs, scored seven times and had two walks. She went 3-for-4 in the 8-6 victory over then-No. 1 Lubbock Christian (Texas) on March 29. Her three hits were all roundtrippers as she drove in half of the team's runs.
Lopez ranks second in the NAIA in total home runs (17), third in total bases (121) and fourth in slugging percentage (1.043).
Monroe, a 5-foot-8 junior from Calhoun, Ga., twirled a pair of complete-game shutouts last week. Her pitching gem came on March 31 against Columbia (S.C.) when she completed a no-hitter with 15 strikeouts. Four days earlier against Point (Ga.), Monroe gave up three singles in a seven-inning, 6-0 victory. On the week, she allowed just three singles and no runs while striking out 28 and walking two in 14 innings. Opponents batted only .068 (3-for-44) against her.
In national rankings, Monroe is 12th in total strikeouts (122) and 23rd in wins (12).
Player Nominees: Lyndsay Cline, Texas Wesleyan; Brittany Arredondo, Houston-Victoria (Texas); Christen Kirchner, Central Baptist (Ark.); Hannah Gardner, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.); Ashton Beaird, Dordt (Iowa); Valarie Howell, Lyon (Ark.); Andrea Thibaudeau, Reinhardt (Ga.); Khyia Lewis, William Penn (Iowa); Kate Johnson, Jamestown (N.D.); Bri Ford, Central Methodist (Mo.); Travatia Bowden, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.); Heather Smith, Faulkner (Ala.); Chloe Haffley, Tabor (Kan.); Ashley Morran, Point Park (Pa.); Kachina Hudson, Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.); Melissa Harber, Saint Francis (Ind.); Julie Jarboe, Asbury (Ky.); Katie Rietkovich, South Carolina Beaufort (SC); Brooke Davis, Northwest Christian (Ore.); Brandi Andrews, Azusa Pacific (Calif.); Caitlyn Keuvelaar, Madonna (Mich.); Alyssa Dronenburg, Cal State San Marcos; Casey Lucas, William Jessup (Calif.).
Pitcher Nominees: Christina Bradley, Graceland (Iowa); Alexis Beltran, Texas Wesleyan; Emily Bergstrom, Houston-Victoria (Texas); Melissa Costantini, Carlow (Pa.); Jessica Bock, Central Baptist (Ark.); Katie Cotta, Concordia (Calif.); Katie Hannagan, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.); Kacy Oberfoell, Dordt (Iowa); Jennifer Garcia, Bethany (Kan.); Sarah Elizabeth Cousar, Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.); Jennifer Whitehead, William Penn (Iowa); Dj Johnson, Jamestown (N.D.); Shelby Anderson, Williams Baptist (Ark.); Brenda Emerson, St. Thomas (Fla.); Courtney Turpin, Campbellsville (Ky.); Maris Harreld, Asbury (Ky.); Abbie Forman, Indiana Wesleyan; Jessa Watts, Lee (Tenn.); Lily LaVelle, Oklahoma City; Jeni Bollenbacher, Concordia (Mich.); Emily Buhrkuhl, William Jessup (Calif.); Taylor Schmidt, Oregon Tech; Katie Wilkinson, Cal State San Marcos.
2012 Softball Weekly Honors (Player, Pitcher):
Week 1: Jordan Reynolds, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.); Brooke Thomas, Union (Tenn.)
Week 2: Brittany Kent, Lubbock Christian (Texas); Kelly Robey, Union (Tenn.)
Week 3: Jennifer Ringle, Lee (Tenn.); Nickayla Skinner, College of Idaho
Week 4: LeeAnn Lopez, Oklahoma City; Maddie Monroe, Reinhardt (Ga.)