NFCA/MaxPreps HS Player of the WeekSTARKVILLE, Miss. – Senior Courtnie Ploesch of Palo Verde Valley High School in Blythe, Calif., junior Paige McDuffee of The Woodlands High School in The Woodlands, Texas,  sophomores Emily Estep of Onaway High School in Onaway, Mich., Kasey Newcomb of South Granville High School in Creedmoor, N.C., and freshman Steph Thomas of Immaculate Heart Academy in Washington Township, N.J. have all been named as the High School Players of the Week for their respective regions by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association for games played through May 23, 2011. 

In the West Region, Ploesch went 3-0 in the circle last week, including tossing two shutouts over Coronado and Mater Dei Catholic in the San Diego Section Championships.  On the week the senior struck out 23 and walked just 3 in 18 innings of work.  She also helped her cause at the plate hitting a double and two home runs, with 4 runs scored and seven RBI.  The wins helped the Yellowjackets improve to 29-4 on the year.

Representing the South Central Region, McDuffee earned her second MaxPreps award of the season as she pitched the Highlanders to two victories over Belton, extending the team's record to a perfect 40-0 on the season. The wins this past week improved the junior's record to 33-0 with a season ERA of .68 and 214 strikeouts against only 21 walks in 186 innings pitched.  At the plate, McDuffee is hitting .411 so far this year, and is fourth on the team in RBI with 39.  Her efforts both at the plate and in the circle have helped The Woodlands maintain their number one national ranking for the past eight weeks.

From the North Region, Estep went 3-0 in the circle this week including tossing a no-hit shutout against Central Lake. In that game Estep struck out 10 and walked none, falling just shy of throwing a perfect game.  At the plate she hit .428 on the week, with a double, two triples, a home run, 5 RBI and 5 runs scored.  Her efforts helped improve the Cardinal's overall record to 19-2 this season.

In the South Region, Newcomb pitched the Vikings to two victories, including a shutout win over Corith Holders.  In 14 innings the sophomore did not allow an earned run, striking out 15 while walking none. Her efforts in the circle saw her ERA improve to .68. So far this season she has held opposing hitters to .158 on the year and has yielded only 7 extra-base hits. The wins improved Newcomb's record to 16-0 and saw the Vikings remain undefeated at 24-0 this season. 

From the East Region, Thomas picked up the second Max Preps award for the Immaculate Heart program this season. The freshman went 4-0 in the circle last week, including a shutout victory over Ridgewood that saw her strike out 13 of the 23 batters she faced. On the season the freshman right-hander is hitting .429 owns a .57 ERA, and has held opponents to a .055 batting average. The wins this week helped the Eagles improve to 23-3 on the year., the official high school statistical provider of the NFCA, provides all statistics for the NFCA High School Player of the Week award. 

To nominate a player for the award, the coach must enter his or her athlete's game stats into MaxPreps.comMaxPreps.comby Sunday evening to be eligible for that week’s award. The NFCA High School Players of the Week, one for each high school region, will be announced by the Association on every Monday during the spring season. 

MaxPreps is a free stat tool that is available to high school coaches across the country and is one of the most recognized and respected high school athletics web sites on the internet. Coaches that enter their team’s stats on Max Preps will not only be nominating their players for this award, but they will be getting their team’s information out to thousands of high school sports fans, as well as college coaches across the country. 

To obtain a coach’s login, please contact: or call (800) 329-7324 x1. To enter a team’s stats on the MaxPreps website, please click herehere.

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