LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Freshman pitcher/outfielder/first baseman Sydney O’Hara of Syracuse University has been selected as the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I National Player of the Week for games played over March 10-16.
“It’s a big honor to be named the NFCA National Player of the Week,” O’Hara said. “Softball is not an individual sport though, it’s more of a team effort. We had some tough losses the week before, and we knew we had to step up, which we did at Virginia. The whole pitching staff did really well, and all of our bats began to wake up, and everyone was giving their best effort. I go out there and pitch my best every single game. In the games I just focused on hitting spots, changing speeds and trusting my defense. I was glad my bat started waking up, because I was getting a little discouraged about my hitting, but I made adjustments at the plate, and once I got that first home run, I knew my hitting would start picking up.”
O’Hara, a Cicero, N.Y., native, did solid work both at the plate and in the circle last week, batting .500 overall (10-for-20) with 10 runs scored, three doubles, three HR’s and 11 RBIs while registering a 4-0 pitching mark and a 1.22 ERA over six appearances. The reigning Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Week slugged at an impressive 1.100 clip, while striking out 33 batters and limiting the opposition to just a .171 batting average over 23 innings of work. O’Hara twirled a pair of complete-game shutouts, including a one-hitter during a 8-0 (5 inn.) rout of Virginia that gave SU its first-ever ACC victory. During the 2014 season she is hitting .275 overall with 10 extra-base hits and 13 RBIs, while owning a 7-5 record in the circle with a 3.36 ERA and 74 K’s over 56.1 frames.
“I'm so proud of the way Sydney is leading our team right now,” Syracuse head coach Leigh Ross said. “Syd did a great job this past week. She was in the zone both pitching and hitting, and that’s what we’ve been asking her to do. Her stats from this week show a lot about her determination as an all-around player to help her team win.”
Next up for O’Hara and the Orange is a three-game league set against Georgia Tech that’s slated for March 22-23 in Syracuse, N.Y.
Selected Top Performances
Georgia’s Alex Hugo, the SEC Player of the Week, batted .538 (7-for-13) with six runs scored, a double, three HR’s, including two walk-offs to end run-rule victories (with one of those being a grand slam), and seven RBIs against Tennessee State & Mississippi State…Auburn’s Marcy Harper went 3-0 from the circle with a 2.33 ERA and 25 strikeouts over 15 innings of work while tossing back-to-back, five-inning no-hitters during wins over Radford and Savannah State…Kori Nishitomi of Oregon State provided a spark for Oregon State’s offense in a series win over No. 7 Arizona State, hitting .600 (6-for-10) overall…Louisiana’s Christina Hamilton, the Sun Belt Pitcher of the Week, was 2-0 with a 0.50 ERA and 10 strikeouts during a pair of triumphs over defending national champion Oklahoma…South Carolina’s Julie Sarratt, the SEC Pitcher of the Week, recorded a pair of victories and a save in a 3-1 week that included a series victory over nationally-ranked Texas A&M…USF’s Sara Nevins was a perfect 4-0 with a 0.34 ERA and tossed her fifth career no-hitter in a 3-0 win over UMass to earn American Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week…Tennessee’s Melissa Davin batted .636 (7-for-11) with eight tallies, a double, two HR’s and nine RBIs last week against Western Carolina and at Arkansas…Buffalo’s Tori Speckman, the MAC East Pitcher of the Week, led the Bulls to all three of their wins last week, striking out 31 over 21 frames of effort…Campbell’s Milly Martinet hit at a .450 clip (8-for-18) with eight runs scored, five HR’s and 12 RBIs on her way to earning Big South Conference Player of the Week…Lipscomb’s Kristen Sturdivant, the Atlantic Sun Conference’s Player of the Week, hit .438 with three HR’s and nine RBIs…South Alabama’s Hannah Campbell twirled her second career perfect game as part of a 2-0 week with a 0.00 ERA and 22 K’s over 14 innings of work against Nicholls State and Oklahoma State…California’s Kylie Reed batted .588 (10-for-17) against Ohio State and No. 21 Stanford, going 5-for-6 in the opener against the Cardinal…Tiffany Harbin of Jacksonville State, the OVC Pitcher of the Week, picked up three wins to establish a school mark for career victories at JSU with 65…Creighton’s Becca Changstrom, the BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week, was 3-0 with a 0.30 ERA and fired the program’s first no-hitter since 2011 via a 11-strikeout win over Army…Conference USA Player of the Week, Southern Miss’ Meaghen Nelson, batted .529 (9-for-17) with a team-best 11 RBIs…George Washington’s Tori Valos, the Atlantic-10 Player of the Week, batted .520 (13-for-25) with six runs scored and eight RBIs…Auburn’s Kasey Cooper hit .692 (9-for-13) with four extra-base hits and 13 RBIs against Troy, Radford, IPFW, Savannah State and Ball State…Alabama’s Haylie McCleney batted .700 (7-for-10) with four runs scored, three steals, two walks, a HR and five RBIs during a three-game sweep of Ole Miss.
2014 Louisville Slugger Division I National Player of the Week
Feb. 11 – Griffin Joiner – Kentucky – Jr. – C – Hopkinsville, Ky.
Feb. 18 – Bryana Walker – Washington – Sr. – P – La Quinta, Calif.
Feb. 25 – Anna Miller (Co-) – USC Upstate – Sr. – P – Portland, Ore.
Ally Carda (Co-) – UCLA – Jr. – P/UTIL – Elk Grove, Calif.
March 4 – Lacey Waldrop – Florida State – Jr. – P – Chester, Va.
March 11 – Dallas Escobedo – Arizona State – Sr. – P – Glendale, Ariz.
March 18 – Sydney O’Hara – Syracuse – Fr. – P/OF/1B – Cicero, N.Y.