KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Katie Cotta of Concordia (Calif.) has been tabbed as the NAIA National Softball Pitcher of the Week and Stephanie Nippert of Corban (Ore.) has been named the NAIA National Softball Player of the Week, the national office announced Tuesday. The duo was chosen, based on their performances from March 11 - 17 out of a pool of conference player of the week selections among 21 conference/independent/unaffiliated groupings.
Cotta, a 5-foot-6 senior from Stockton, Calif., has now thrown a school-record three-straight no-hitters, including two last week. She struck out 26 batters in 14 innings and only allowed two base runners. She held down hitters from Hope International (Calif.) on March 12 and Vanguard (Calif.) on March 16 in a pair of 5-0 wins.
Currently, Cotta ranks second in the nation in strikeouts (126), 10th in ERA (.210), and 11th in wins (10). Cotta leads the Golden State Athletic Conference in all three of those categories. She has now thrown a school-record eight career no hitters, with four this season. She is 10-1 on the year with seven complete games and 67.0 innings pitched.
Nippert, a 5-foot-8 senior first baseman from Rocklin, Calif., batted .667 with four home runs and eight RBIs in four wins last week. She went 6-for-9 from the dish, with eight runs scored and posted a 2.000 slugging percentage. The NAIA leader in home runs (13), Nippert smacked the game-winning roundtripper against College of Idaho on March 15. After that homer, she was walked all three times that she stepped to the plate in Game No. 2 to bring her season total to 14 free passes. Another highlight came against Eastern Oregon on March 16, when she went 3-for-3 with four runs scored and hit two homers.
Among all NAIA players, Nippert leads the country in total home runs and home runs per game (0.591), while ranking in the Top 10 nationally in nine other statistical categories.
For a complete listing of all the national statistical leaders, click here.
Player Nominees: Kristinia Romualdo, UVa-Wise; Kelli Nicholson, Friends (Kan.); Nadine Idrogo, Our Lady of the Lake (Texas); Marley Moehrig, Houston-Victoria (Texas); Jordan Batliner, Indiana Southeast; Brooklynn Lemons, Central Christian (Kan.); Mackenzie Snowbarger, St. Ambrose (Iowa); Audrey Lorenz, Dakota State (S.D.); Breanna Taylor, Concordia (Mich.); Kyndra Holasek, Oklahoma City; Breihanna Castilleja, William Jessup (Calif.); Shelby Cummings, Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.); Lindsay Sumner, Park (Mo.); Brittany Dunson, Mobile (Ala.); Kati Steffen, Morningside (Iowa); Rachael Dirks, Northwood (Fla.); Lauren Bunch-Bright, Evangel (Mo.); Melissa Harber, Saint Francis (Ind.); Kelsey Floyd, Reinhardt (Ga.); Nicole Nonnemacher, Saint Xavier (Ill.); Kate Johnson, Jamestown (N.D.); Jenna Jorgenson, Concordia (Calif.); Sarah Quiambao, Cal State San Marcos.
Pitcher Nominees: Mackenzie Bowden, William Woods (Mo.); Nadine Idrogo, Our Lady of the Lake (Texas); Erin Greenwood, Baker (Kan.); Jenna Harshbarger, St. Ambrose (Iowa); Sam Cole, Davenport (Mich.); Jennifer Garcia, Bethany (Kan.); Tori Bayer, Lubbock Christian (Texas); Sarah Elizabeth Cousar, Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.); Sammy Hislop, Midland (Neb.); Jenna Daniel, Oklahoma Wesleyan; Taylor Schmidt, Oregon Tech; Kelsi Pardue, Campbellsville (Ky.); Bethany Sullivan, Indiana Southeast; Kristy Cook, South Carolina Beaufort; Cassie Daniels, Auburn Montgomery (Ala.); Ashley Riffell, Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio); Maddie Monroe, Reinhardt (Ga.); Megan Nonnemacher, Saint Xavier (Ill.); Mikayela Viramontes, Menlo (Calif.).
2013 Softball Weekly Honors (Pitcher; Player):
Week 1: Caitlin Santefort, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.); Latainna Eltsosie, Lubbock Christian (Texas)
Week 2: Katie Cotta, Concordia (Calif.); Stephanie Nippert, Corban (Ore.)