LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jessie Richardson of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and Montclair State’s Alex Hill have been selected as the Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division III National Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively.
Richardson, a junior catcher for the (6-4) Bears, had a .720 average (18-of-25) with 10 runs scored, three doubles, a triple, 10 runs batted in and four steals in four attempts during a 4-4 week for her school. The Kent, Wash., native compiled a .920 slugging percentage and a .700 on-base average, had a stretch of 16-for-17 with seven RBI and threw out two potential base stealers. She leads the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference in 10 offensive categories.
Hill, a senior right-hander from Parsippany, N.J., figured in every decision in a 5-1 week for the (7-1) Red Hawks, who are ranked third in the latest NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll. She had a miniscule 0.50 earned-run average and 66 strikeouts in 42 innings, allowing 21 hits and six runs (three earned), while walking just five and pitching four complete games.
Hill held opposing batters to an .146 average for the six games and struck out 11 in a two-hit shutout of then-No. 5 Cortland State, fanned 12 in a nine-inning win over new No. 20 Washington (Md.) College and 14 each in a nine-inning loss to Thomas More and a win over Simpson to surpass 1,000 strikeouts for her career. She also helped herself at the plate, with a .389 average (7-of-18) with a double, homer, two RBI and four walks.
Other Selected Top Performances
Chapman sophomore pitcher Natalie Both went 2-0 for the week with 26 strikeouts, eight hits and no runs allowed in 20 innings. … Wittenberg sophomore shortstop Loren Combs batted .528 (19-of-36) with two doubles, a triple and three RBI, plus went 15 for 16 on steal attempts as the (9-1) Tigers joined the rankings at No. 24. She was 3-for-4 with two runs, a triple and an RBI in a win over then-No. 25 Ithaca. … Washington (Md.) College junior pitcher Kristin Cooper was 3-1 for the week with a 0.58 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 24.1 innings, allowing 17 hits and nine runs (two earned). She pitched all nine innings of a loss to then-No. 2 Montclair State (nine strikeouts) and the last 4.1 innings to garner the win over then-No. 5 Cortland State. Her season-high 11 strikeouts helped earn her Centennial Pitcher of the Week honors. … Piedmont sophomore catcher Olivia Duncan was 11-for-17 (.647) with a double, triple and five RBI. She had two or more hits in five of six games played. … Drew senior utility player Lexie Forsell hit .294 (5-of-17) and moved into 10th place on the Rangers’ career hits list. … Olivet freshman pitcher Ashlynn Grubb went 2-1 for the week with a 0.00 ERA, 39 strikeouts, 11 hits and four walks allowed over 24 innings. She threw a perfect game (eight strikeouts in six innings) against North Park, fanned 13 in a shutout of Kenyon and struck out a school-best 18 in a one-run win over Stevens. All three runs she allowed were runners placed at second in extra innings. At the plate, she hit .500 (7-of-14) with a double, homer and eight RBI. … Covenant sophomore first baseman Morgan Lane was 14-for-24 (.583) with four doubles, a homer and 14 RBI for the week. She went 5-for-6 with four runs, two doubles and two RBI in a lopsided win over Sewanee and tied the school record with seven RBI, going 3-for-5 in a 12-11 extra-inning loss to Sewanee. … East Texas Baptist freshman first baseman Lacey Lindsey batted .538 (7-of-13) with a double, three homers (including a grand slam), eight RBI and four walks, while compiling a 1.308 slugging percentage and a .647 on-base average. Four of her seven hits were for extra bases and Lindsey was 5-for-7 with three homers and six RBI in a three-game conference sweep of LeTourneau. … Mount Ida freshman outfielder Michele MacDonald was 15-for-29 (.517) with a double, two triples, nine runs scored and six steals in six attempts. She compiled a .690 slugging percentage and a .533 on-base average. … Chapman junior pitcher Cassie Oregel was 4-0 for the week (three starts, one relief outing) with 21 strikeouts, 15 hits and one unearned run allowed in 23 innings. … Case Western Reserve junior outfielder Ashley Parello hit .407 (11-of-27) with two doubles, four homers and 14 RBI (walked three times) and hit combined .455 with seven RBI against ranked schools Emory and Washington (Mo.) University. She had two homers in a 6-5 win over Emory. … East Texas Baptist senior pitcher Shelby Parker was 3-0 for the week with 25 strikeouts in 18 innings, allowing 11 hits, three runs and three walks. She broke the school record for career strikeouts with her 11 in the final game of series with LeTourneau, also fanned 11 in her other win against LeTourneau and struck out three over four innings in a triumph over Trinity. … Wittenberg senior pitcher Rachel Ross was 7-0 for the week with a 1.12 ERA, 19 strikeouts and six runs allowed over 37 innings. She shut out then-No. 25 Ithaca and moved into second place on the Tigers’ career list in wins and strikeouts, while also batting .452 (14-of-31) with five double and nine RBI. … Central (Iowa) senior shortstop Annie Sarcone was 12-for-19 (.632) with two doubles, a homer, 13 RBI and four steals in four attempts in a 6-0 start to her school’s season. She amassed an .895 slugging percentage and a .667 on-base average. … Drew sophomore pitcher Kristin Zeigler had three wins in three appearances, pitching 16 innings and surrendering one earned run while striking out six.
The Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division III Player and Pitcher of the Week are selected by eight NCAA Division III head coaches representing the eight NCAA regions.
2014 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division III National Player of the Week
Feb. 26 — Ashley Garcia, Linfield College, Sr., 3B, Beaverton, Ore.
March 5 — Maggie Ingell, Washington (Mo.) University, Sr., OF, Winnetka, Ill.
March 12 — Hannah Sendel, Emory University, So., DP, Greenwood Village, Colo.
March 19 — Jessie Richardson, Coast Guard Academy, Jr., C, Kent., Wash.
2014 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division III National Pitcher of the Week
Feb. 26 — Rebekah Ragsdale, Mary Hardin-Baylor, Sr., P, Orange, Texas
March 5 — Shelby Parker, East Texas Baptist, Sr., P, Brazoria, Texas
March 12 — Rachel Johnson, Salisbury University, Jr., P, Preston, Md.
March 19 — Alex Hill, Montclair State, Sr. P, Parsippany, N.J.