Cal State Dominguez Hills freshman pitcher Kristin Tanaka has been named the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division II National Player of the Week for the week ending March 16, it was announced on Wednesday.
Tanaka made the most of her appearances last weekend against then-No. 14 Humboldt State, entering three games and coming away with three wins against the reigning CCAA Champions.
After driving in the tying run in the bottom of the seventh with a single as a pinch hitter, Tanaka shut the high-powered Jack offense down to the tune of one hit in two innings of work in the nightcap of day one, tossing 37 pitches to get the win. In the ninth, Tanaka also laid down a perfect sacrifice that got the eventual winning run in scoring position.
The next day, Tanaka came in during the seventh inning after the Jacks had take a two-run lead with four runs in their frame, and quickly got the third out of the inning, and the next three batters she faced in the eighth after the Toros tied the contest in their seventh inning at-bat. In the ninth, Tanaka faced the heart of the HSU line-up and allowed 3 hits and a run, but fanned the last Jack batter she faced with the bases loaded before the Toros won it in the bottom of the ninth.
In the next game, Tanaka entered in the 6th inning with one on and one out, and after allowing a hit to her first batter she faced, retired the next two batters to escape the jam. With the Toros holding on to a one-run lead heading into the 7th, Tanaka faced just four Jack batters in the top of the 7th to pick up her 3rd win of the series, and 2nd of the day.
Overall, Tanaka earned 3 wins in 3 appearances against the reigning CCAA Champions, boasting a 1.17 ERA in 6.0 innings pitched, allowing 6 hits and just 1 earned run while limiting the Jacks to a .240 batting average.
Thanks in part to the four-game sweep over conference rival Humboldt State, Cal State Dominguez Hills debuted at No. T-17 in this week’s NFCA Division II Top 25 poll.