LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A pair of high-profile victories over defending national champion Alabama have helped LSU senior pitcher Rachele Fico earn a selection as the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I National Player of the Week for April 30.

“I’m extremely happy, humbled and honored to win a national award like this,” Fico said. “I couldn’t have done it without the support of my teammates and the atmosphere provided by the Tiger fans. The Alabama series was so special and is something I’ll never forget for those reasons.”

The Oxford, Conn., product registered a 2-0 record with a 1.87 ERA and six strikeouts over 15 innings of work as the Bayou Bengals swept a three-game series from the then-No. 4-ranked Crimson Tide.  The trio of victories clinched LSU at least a share of the Southeastern Conference’s Western Division title for the first time since 2007. During the series opener, Fico sat down 18 of the first 21 UA batters she faced, eventually escaping bases-loaded jams in the seventh and eight frames as No. 8 LSU hung on to top the Tide, 3-2 (8 inn.).  During the series finale on her “Senior Day,” Fico struck out four and allowed a pair of earned runs as the Tigers secured the sweep, 4-3. She is the only pitcher in the nation to record a pair of complete-game victories over the defending national titlist Crimson Tide this season.

She currently tops LSU’s pitching staff with a 24-9 overall record and 212 strikeouts over 201.1 innings of work to go along with a 1.98 ERA, 10 solo shutouts and 26 complete games while allowing opponents to hit at just a .197 clip.

“This is certainly a fabulous and well-deserved national honor for Rachele and our program,” LSU head coach Beth Torina said. “She’s a special player and deserves every award she receives. Our games with Alabama are always a battle to the end. Being able to clinch a share of the SEC Western Division title and a sweep on our senior weekend has provided Rachele memories for a lifetime, not only for herself, but her teammates as well.”

The Tigers will wrap-up the 2013 regular season over May 3-5 by making a visit to Athens, Ga., to face-off against the power-hitting Georgia Bulldogs.

Other Selected Top Performances

N.C. State’s Renada Davis batted .667 (10-for-15) with eight runs, four HR’s (one of those a grand slam) and 10 RBIs in games versus Elon and Boston College…Arizona State’s Cheyenne Coyle was 5-for-7 at the dish (.714) with two HR’s during a series sweep of No. 10 California…Oklahoma’s Shelby Pendley hit .615 (8-for-13) with a pair of doubles, three HR’s and 16 RBIs in victories over North Texas and Iowa State…Oregon’s Janie Takeda hit .500 (6-for-12) with a HR, two walks and three-RBIs at national-ranked UCLA…Conference USA Hitter of the Week Holly Anderson of Houston batted .556 (10-for-18) with three HR’s and 10 RBIs against Memphis and #21 Baylor…Kiana Quolas of Coastal Carolina, the Big South Pitcher of the Week, was 2-0 for the Chanticleers with a 0.57 ERA over 12.1 frames…FGCU’s Jackie Owen went 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 16.1 innings on her way to Atlantic Sun Pitcher of the Week honors…Notre Dame’s Laura Winter hit .467 (7-for-15) with two HR’s and eight RBIs while also posting a 2-1 record with a 2.41 ERA and 23 K’s in 20.1 frames in earning BIG EAST Player of the Week…North Dakota State’s Whitney Johnson was 4-0 for the week with a no-hitter, two shutouts and a pair of double-digit K efforts to reap Summit League Pitcher of the Week accolades…South Carolina’s Audrey Broyles, the SEC Pitcher of the Week, was 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 10 K’s in 14 innings against Charlotte and Mississippi State…MEAC Player of the Week Bethune-Cookman’s Kelsey Rodney batted .636 (7-for-11) with two doubles, eight RBIs and eight runs scored in a series sweep of Savannah State…Hofstra’s Olivia Galati was tabbed as the CAA Pitcher of the Week after going 4-0 with a save, a 1.75 ERA and 28 K’s…MAAC Rookie of the Week Nicole Cheek of Marist batted .429 (9-for-21) with six runs scored, two doubles, two HR’s and nine RBIs…Temple’s Sarah Prezioso, the Atlantic 10 Player of the Week, hit .560 (14-for-25) with three doubles, five HR’s, seven steals and 10 RBIs over seven games for the Owls against Villanova, Rhode Island and Massachusetts…SoCon Pitcher of the Week Furman’s Lauren Collier was 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 14 K’s over 14 frames of effort…Ashley Kirk of North Texas earned Sun Belt Pitcher of the Week accolades after winning all three games versus Louisiana Monroe with a pair of no-hitters while posting a 3-1 mark with a 0.81 ERA and 25 K’s in 17.1 frames…Sun Belt Player of the Week Nerissa Myers of Louisiana Lafayette hit .667 (6-for-9) with four runs and five RBIs…Northern Illinois’ Jennifer Barnett, the MAC West Co-Player of the Week, hit .769 (10-for-13) with a HR, a double and six RBIs for the Huskies…Georgia State’s Jessica Clifton, the CAA Player of the Week, hit .533 (8-for-15) with a .933 slugging percentage and scored three times in a 10-7 upset of Georgia…Anna Bertrand of Portland State was 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA and allowed opponents to hit at just a .213 clip on the way to reaping Big Sky Pitcher of the Week.

2013 Louisville Slugger Division I National Player of the Week

Feb. 12 – Keilani Ricketts – Oklahoma – Sr. – P – San Jose, Calif.

Feb. 19 – B.B. Bates – UCLA – Sr. – OF – Victorville, Calif.

Feb. 26 – Kelsey Stevens – Stanford – Fr. – P – Albuquerque, N.M.

March 5 – Katie Keller – Louisville – Jr. – 2B – Livermore, Calif.

March 12 – Ivy Renfroe – Tennessee – Sr. – P – Jackson, Tenn.

March 19 – Sara Driesenga – Michigan – So. – P – Hudsonville, Mich.

March 26 – Geri Ann Glasco – Georgia – Fr. – P/IF – Watkinsville, Ga.

April 2 – Amy Letourneau – Northwestern – So. – P/1B – Laguna Niguel, Calif.

April 9 – (Co-) Olivia Galati – Hofstra – Sr. – P/DP – West Babylon, N.Y.

April 9 – (Co-) Stephanie Pasquale – Temple – Jr. – C/1B – Pompton Lakes, N.J.

April 16 – Jessica Moore – Oregon – Sr. – P – Sutter, Calif.

April 23 – Lauren Gibson – Tennessee – Sr. – 2B – Pasadena, Md.

April 30 – Rachele Fico – LSU – Sr. – P – Oxford, Conn.

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