LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Tennessee’s Rainey Gaffin and USF’s Erica Nunn were selected Louisville/Slugger NFCA Division I Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, announced the Association on Tuesday afternoon.
Gaffin had a dominant week at the plate helping Tennessee stay undefeated at home (17-0) with four wins last week, including a three-game SEC sweep of then No. 11 Texas A&M. The senior posted a team-best eight RBI and 1.077 slugging percentage and registered a pair of three-hit contests against the Aggies. In addition, she chipped in at the plate, batting .545 (6-for-11) with two doubles, three RBI and two runs scored.
“It’s such an honor to be chosen for this award and I couldn’t have done it without my teammates and coaches. There are so many great players in college softball and I’m just grateful to be considered among the best players in the country.”
The Thornton, Colo. native recorded a base knock in all four games with her biggest output of the week coming in game two of the series. She clubbed a grand slam and knocked in a career-high six runs in the series-clinching win. Gaffin also showcased her arm, picking up two wins with 14 strikeouts in 11 innings of work, including eight punchouts on Friday night against the Aggies.
“Rainey made a real effort last week to work on her approach at the plate and her mindset going into each at-bat,” said co-head coach Karen Weekly. “This award is a credit to her effort and staying committed to the process.”
Nunn, who improved to 20-6 on the season, was a perfect 4-0 over the week with two shutouts and 29 strikeouts. Posting a 0.32 ERA and a .188 opponent’s batting average, the senior southpaw allowed just one earned run and 15 hits over 22 innings of work.
“I’m thankful for this honor and to have this last season with my team,” Nunn said. “Coach Jessica Moore has helped me with my confidence in the circle and attacking hitters. My defense has continued to make great plays behind me to keep us in the ballgame.”
A native of Apex, N.C., Nunn recorded a week-high 11 strikeouts en route to a complete-game shutout in game two of an American Athletic Conference series against UConn. She opened the week with a two-hit blanking of Bethune-Cookman in which she fanned eight and did not walk a batter. In the other two contests against the Huskies, Nunn struck out six in a five-inning complete game and closed out the series by shutting out UConn over the final three innings to pick up her final win of the week in relief.
“It’s nice to see that Erica is getting national recognition,” said head coach Ken Eriksen. “She’s one of the main reasons why we are having such a successful year. The biggest difference this year for Erica has been her pitching coach, Jessica Moore. Jess has helped her mature not only in the circle but on the field as well.”
Player of the Week
April 12 – Rainey Gaffin (Tennessee)
April 5 – Jessie Hufstetler (San Jose State)
March 29 – Holly Speers (Kent State)
March 22 – Hannah Day (Troy)
March 15 – Fiana Finau (New Mexico State)
March 8 – Sierra Romero (Michigan)
March 1 – Cammi Prantl (Ohio State)
Feb. 23 – Ali Aguilar (Washington)
Feb. 16 – Lexie Elkins (Louisiana-Lafayette)
Pitcher of the Week
April 12 – Erica Nunn (USF)
April 5 – Sydney Littlejohn (Alabama)
March 29 – Cheridan Hawkins (Oregon)
March 22 – Devin Brown (South Alabama)
Kylee Hanson (Florida Atlantic)
March 15 – Meghan King (Florida State)
Sara Groenewegen (Minnesota)
March 8 – Carley Hoover (LSU)
March 1 – Heather Stearns (Baylor)
Feb. 23 – Jailyn Ford (James Madison)
Feb. 16 – Jill Compton (Fresno State)
Selected Top Performances
Weber State’s Sara Hingsberger – Co-Big Sky Player of the Week - 6-for-15, 4 HR, 2 GS, 15 RBI, 6 R… Oklahoma’s Paige Parker - 4-0, 0.81 ERA, 2 SHO at Baylor, 4 R, 3 ER, 6 BB, 19 K, .234 opp. Avg., 26 IP… San Jose State’s Jessie Hufstetler – Mountain West Player of the Week - .500 (5-fo-10), 4 HR, 9 RBI, 6 R, 1.700 SLG… Louisiana-Lafayette’s Aleah Craighton – Sun Belt Player of the Week - .714 (5-for-7), 2B, 2 HR, 1.714 SLG, .818 OBP… UAB’s Mary Warren – Conference USA Player of the Week - .583 (7-for-13), 3 HR, 11 RBI, 1.231 SLG… Southern Illinois’ Jessica Heese – MVC Player of the Week - .500 (7-for-14), 2B, Grand Slam, 9 RBI, 7 R… Long Beach State’s Darian Tautalafua – Big West Player of the Week - .556 (5-for-9), 4 HR, 7 RBI, 2 GW RBI, 4 R, 1.889 SLG… Washington’s Kimberlee Souza – Pac-12 Player of the Week - .556 (5-for-9), 3 HR, 7 RBI, 5 R, 2 BB, 1.556 SLG, vs. Arizona State… Oregon’s Cheridan Hawkins – Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week - 2-0, save, 13 IP, 17 K… Eastern Illinois’ Jessica Wireman - Complete game shutout with an EIU record 22 strikeouts in a 12-inning win… McNeese State’s Emily Vincent – Southland Pitcher of the Week - 2-0, 2 SHO, 11 K, 1 BB, 14 IP, .176 opp. Avg… Ohio State’s Alex Bayne – Big Ten Player of the Week - .579, 5 HR, 11 RBI, 10 R, 1.368 SLG; HR in all five contests – school record six straight games with HR… South Dakota’s Madison Frain – Summit League Pitcher of the Week - 2-0, save, 0.46 ERA, SHO, 15 K, 15.1 IP… DePaul’s Nicole Pihl – BIG EAST Player of the Week - .545 (6-for-11), 3 HR, 8 RBI... Kentucky’s Kelsey Nunley – SEC Pitcher of the Week - 1-0, SHO, 5 H, 6 K, 3 BB at LSU... Savannah State’s Brianna Harris – MEAC Player of the Week.615, 8 H, 3 2B, 3 B, 8 R, 5 RBI.