By Chad Waller, NAIA Director of Communications & Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Jessica Hardy of Columbia (Mo.) has been tabbed as the NAIA National Softball Player of the Week and Rita Kim of Azusa Pacific (Calif.) has been named the NAIA National Softball Pitcher of the Week, the national office announced Tuesday. Hardy and Kim were chosen based on their performances from April 16 -- 22 out of a pool of conference player of the week selections among 24 conference/independent/unaffiliated groupings.
Hardy, a 5-foot-5 freshman catcher from Sedalia, Mo., set two single-game records for Columbia last week. In a 15-3 victory over Harris-Stowe State (Mo.) on April 16, she collected a Cougar-record three homers and nine RBIs in a 4-for-5 effort from the dish. In four victories, Hardy went 8-for-15 (.533) overall with 14 RBIs, seven runs scored, two doubles and four roundtrippers.
She is tied for the team lead with seven homers and ranks fifth among the regulars in batting average (.392).
Kim, a 5-foot-4 junior from Irvine, Calif., single-handedly stopped the extension of a national record with two wins for the Cougars. On April 17, she mowed down No. 1 Concordia (Calif.) in the 2-0 victory. She allowed just four hits and fanned four batters. That loss halted a NAIA-record 44-game winning streak for Concordia. Four days later, she notched a 9-1 win against Biola (Calif.), in which she gave up just one hit in 5.0 innings. She struck out seven Eagles in the process.
On the week, she tossed 12 shutout innings, struck out 11 and allowed just five hits. On the season, Kim is second on the team in wins with a 13-4 record and holds a 2.43 ERA.
For a complete listing of all the national statistical leaders, click here.
Player Nominees: Kelsie Bridgeford, Bellevue (Neb.); Jordan Reynolds, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.); Ashleigh Jiminez, Texas Wesleyan; Victoria Toplikar, Saint Mary (Kan.); Brittany Arredondo, Houston-Victoria (Texas); Kate Johnson, Jamestown (N.D.); Stephanie Nippert, Corban (Ore.); Emily Whetstone, Ashford (Iowa); Tabatha Martin, Warner (Fla.); Emily Maresh, Peru State (Neb.); Taylor Steff, St. Catharine (Ky.); Abby Sears, Union (Ky.); Ana Coscorrosa, Lee (Tenn.); Brooke Sampson, Doane (Neb.); Tamara Davis, Indiana Wesleyan; Angela Martin, Concordia (Mich.); Kim Frazier, Lubbock Christian (Texas); Kate Toney, Indiana Southeast; Chae Ellis, Martin Methodist (Tenn.); Brittany Colenzo, Vanguard (Calif.); Nicki Feurebach, Simpson (Calif.); Kimberle Smith, Cal State San Marcos.
Pitcher Nominees: Taylor Mohler, Bellevue (Neb.); Karisa Hendrix, Williams Baptist (Ark.); Jill Wildermuth, Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio); Lenzie Boring, Evangel (Mo.); Kelsey Garner, Friends (Kan.); Alexis Beltran, Texas Wesleyan; Dj Johnson, Jamestown (N.D.); Emily Bergstrom, Houston-Victoria (Texas); Sam Cole, Davenport (Mich.); Allie Chapman, Shawnee State (Ohio); Jordyn Kurtz, Southern Oregon; Haleigh Munson, Grand View (Iowa); Chancli Connatser, Milligan (Tenn.); Kelsey Robertson, Point Park (Pa.); Brandi Richards, Auburn Montgomery (Ala.); Kylie Garrett, Doane (Neb.); Kristy Cook, South Carolina Beaufort; Kayla Duke, Indiana Southeast; Sarah Elizabeth Cousar, Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.); Lily Lavelle, Oklahoma City; Caitlyn Balandis, St. Francis (Ill.); Hayley Rodriguez, Simpson (Calif.).
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.)
Week 5: Brianne Rowley, William Penn (Iowa); Sierrah Garcia, Iowa Wesleyan
Week 6: Charlsie Broome, Shorter (Ga.); Hollind Englert, Bethany (Kan.)
Week 7: Jessica Hardy, Columbia (Mo.); Rita Kim, Azusa Pacific (Calif.)