By Chad Waller, Director of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Cassie Daniels of Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) has been tabbed as the NAIA National Softball Pitcher of the Week and Emily Gwaltney of Marian (Ind.) 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 April 15 – 21 out of a pool of conference player of the week selections among 21 conference/independent/unaffiliated groupings.
Daniels, a 5-foot-10 sophomore pitcher from Valley Grande, Ala., took down two top-15 opponents last week for the Warhawks. On April 20, she tossed her first career no-hitter in the 2-0 win against No. 9 Belhaven (Miss.) as she struck out nine batters. The following day, Daniels limited No. 14 William Carey (Miss.) to one run on seven hits in the 7-1 complete-game win. Against William Carey, she set a new AUM single-season record for wins as she stands 17-1 overall in the circle. In the second inning, she had a career-high 29 2/3 scoreless (earned runs) inning streak come to an end.
Daniels improved to 6-1 with a 1.12 ERA against nationally-ranked teams this year. Overall, she has posted a 1.52 ERA with 167 strikeouts in 119 2/3 innings.
Gwaltney, a 5-foot-9 senior pitcher from Bargersville, Ind., led the Knights to a perfect 4-0 as she individually cleaned up at the plate going 14-for-14 overall. She compiled five extra-base hits, including four home runs, and had 10 RBI. She scored seven runs and walked twice. She homered twice in Marian’s 13-3 win over Grace (Ind.) April 19 after swatting a roundtripper in a 10-0 win in game one. On April 20, she finished 5-for-5 with three RBIs in the 13-0 triumph over Spring Arbor (Mich.).
In addition to being perfect at the plate, Gwaltney was 2-0 inside the circle as she hurled a pair of complete games, including a two-hit shutout over Grace.
She is currently ranked in the top five in the country in batting average (.534) and is on track to smash the school single-season record for hitting. She is currently leading the Crossroads League in batting, slugging percentage (.875), on-base percentage (.584) and is tied for the league lead in home runs with nine.
The final installment of the Player of the Week will be announced on April 30.
For a complete listing of all the national statistical leaders, click here.
Player Nominees: Charity Lawson, UVa-Wise; Kendall Kizer, Texas Wesleyan; Sarah Heinemann, Jamestown (N.D.); Marley Moehrig, Houston-Victoria (Texas); Megan Blythe, West Virginia Tech; Ashley Soos, Ashford (Iowa); Stephanie Hebison, St. Ambrose (Iowa); Sally Duggan, Brenau (Ga.); Jenna Weightman, Cornerstone (Mich.); Kelli Traffas, Bethany (Kan.); Marli Hayes, Columbia (Mo.); Allison Edwards, Oklahoma Wesleyan; Sarah Huey, Embry-Riddle (Fla.); Katie Ricklefs, Benedictine (Kan.); Drew Wright, Oklahoma City; Hannah Gardner, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.); Emma Verge, Briar Cliff (Iowa); Ashley Morran, Point Park (Pa.); Samantha Perry-Shifflett, Virginia Intermont; Jess Plummer, Oregon Tech; Lauren Ackerson, Hope International (Calif.); Casey Showalter, Menlo (Calif.).
Pitcher Nominees: Rachel Hawks, UVa-Wise; Emily Gwaltney, Marian (Ind.); Danielle Najera, Texas Wesleyan; Sam Cole, Davenport (Mich.); Sarah Elizabeth Cousar, Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.); Amber Boehme, Columbia (Mo.); Jennifer Whitehead, William Penn (Iowa); Kayla Harris, MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.); Jenna Daniel, Oklahoma Wesleyan; Robi Zimmerman, Embry-Riddle (Fla.); Kelsey Garner, Friends (Kan.); Jamie Rateliff, Oklahoma City; Kylie Garrett, Doane (Neb.); Kelsey Robertson, Point Park (Pa.); Nickayla Skinner, College of Idaho; Micalah Sacre, Virginia Intermont; Megan Nonnemacher, Saint Xavier (Ill.); Rachel Stalford, Vanguard (Calif.); Mikayela Viramontes, Menlo (Calif.).
2013 Softball Weekly Honors (Pitcher; Player):
Week 1 (March 12): Caitlin Santefort, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.); Latainna Eltsosie, Lubbock Christian (Texas)
Week 2 (March 19): Katie Cotta, Concordia (Calif.); Stephanie Nippert, Corban (Ore.)
Week 3 (March 26): Ashley Suter, Concordia (Ore.); Kate Santos, Concordia (Ore.)
Week 4 (April 2): Erin Greenwood, Baker (Kan.); Kristen Bodyk, Peru State (Neb.)
Week 5 (April 9): Caroline Sagrera, Spring Hill (Ala.); Denee’ Crawford, Belhaven (Miss.)
Week 6 (April 16): Sarah Elizabeth Cousar, Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.); Caroline Sicht, William Woods (Mo.)
Week 7 (April 23): Cassie Daniels, Auburn Montgomery (Ala.); Emily Gwaltney, Marian (Ind.)