LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Louisiana shortstop DJ Sanders and Villanova southpaw Brette Lawrence named Louisville Slugger NFCA Division I National Player and of the Week, respectively, for games played April 17-23, announced the Association on Tuesday afternoon.
Sanders was a familiar site on the base paths last week. She reached base safely in 14 of 15 plate appearances and scored all but once, totaling 13 runs. The junior from Columbus, Miss. also drew nine walks and recorded a .933 on-base percentage. When she did have a chance to swing the bat, Sanders recorded five hits (5-for-6), four of which left the park, and drove in 10 runs. She opened the scoring with a two-run first-inning homer in a 11-9 road win at then-No. 4 Texas A&M. Sanders also drew a pair of two-out walks that set up a grand slam and a base-clearing double. In the first two games of a Sun Belt doubleheader versus Georgia State, she was 4-for-4 with three dingers, seven RBI and seven runs scored. Her four long balls brought her NCAA-leading total to 27.
“We have a plan that changes for each pitcher and Coach Mike does a good job preparing us for what’s coming,” Sanders said after Saturday’s performance at the plate. “We spend all week preparing for it, so I’m not up there guessing what the pitcher is going to throw. It just so happens that when I square it, it usually goes out, but it’s only because of the preparation that Coach Mike has put in.”
Highlighted by a perfect game against St. John’s, Lawrence was 5-0 with a 0.76 ERA and 21 strikeouts to just three walks in 27.1 innings of work. While holding St. John’s offense, who owned the BIG EAST’s top batting average, scoreless in two starts, the senior from Sparks, Nev. limited her opposition to a .194 batting average. In the six-inning perfecto, Lawrence struck out four Red Storm batter in an 8-0 win. A day earlier, she surrendered four hits, struck out seven and did not walk a batter in a complete-game 2-0 triumph over St. Johns. Additionally, she earned a complete-game win over Monmouth and collected a pair of wins against Fairleigh Dickinson in which she did not allow a run and struck out five in seven innings of work.
"Everyone was energetic and ready to play well, so it made my job easy,” said Lawrence. “I knew in my mind as the game went on that it was a perfect game, but we all kept it to ourselves until it actually happened. The last inning was nerve-wracking, but I kept telling myself to throw one pitch at a time and throw my best pitch. I knew my defense would be right behind me, just like they were all game."
Player of the Week
April 25 – DJ Sanders (Louisiana)
April 18 – Caroline Seitz (Mississippi State)
April 11 – Jessica Warren (Florida State)
April 4 – Kaylan Jablonski (Nebraska)
March 28 – Brooke Vines (Tennessee)
March 21 – Braxton Burnside (Missouri)
March 14 – Chloe Miller (Wisconsin)
March 7 – Alex Mycek (East Carolina)
Feb. 28 – Mo Mercado (Arizona)
Feb. 21 – Bailey Landry (LSU)
Feb. 14 – Mary Stephens (Missouri State)
Pitcher of the Week
April 25 – Brette Lawrence (Villanova)
April 18 – Kelly Barnhill (Florida)
April 11 – Randi Rupp (Texas State)
April 4 – Cheyenne Baker (Missouri)
March 28 – Danielle O’Toole (Arizona)
March 21 – Sierra Hyland (Cal Poly) & Emily Watson (Tulsa)
March 14 – Alexis Osorio (Alabama)
March 7 – Kelsee Selman (Baylor)
Feb. 28 – Sam Show (Texas A&M)
Feb. 21 – Jessica Burroughs (Florida State)
Feb. 14 – Taran Alvelo (Washington)
Selected Top Performances
Katiyana Mauga, Arizona (Pac-12 Player of the Week)- .474, 9 H, 5 HR, 9 RBI, 1.316 SLG; Rachel Garcia, UCLA (Pac-12 Pitcher & Freshman of the Week)- 2-0, save, 0.00 ERA, 2 R, 0 ER, 16 K, 4 BB, 8 H, .151 opp. BA, 14 IP, .400 BA, 4 H, RBI; Taran Alvelo, Washington- 2-0 at Alabama, 12 K, SHO, 12 IP; Kelly Barnhill, Florida (SEC Pitcher of the Week)- 2-0, SHO, 0 R, 25 K, 1 BB, 12 IP; Kayli Kvistad, Florida (SEC Player of the Week)- .636, 7 H, 8 RBI; Sarah Cornell, Hofstra (CAA Pitcher of the Week)- 2-0, 1.00 ERA, SHO, 18 K, .122 opp BA, no-hitter vs. Stony Brook (9K); Megan Good, JMU (CAA Player of the Week)- 3-for-4, 2 2B, HR, 2.000 SLG, .833 OBP, 4 RBI, 1-0, 0.81 ERA, 1 R, 5 H, 4 K; 2-0, SHO, 0 R; Abby Morrow, Radford (Big South Co-Pitcher of the Week)- 4-0, 0.26 ERA, 3 SHO, 1 R, 15 K, 3 BB, 26.2 IP; Abby Stoner, Western Michigan (MAC West Player of the Week)- .545 (6-for-11), 2 HR, grand slam, 8 RBI, 4 BB, .667 OBP; Emily Watson, Tulsa (American Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week)- 3-0, 0.37 ERA, 31 K, 0 BB; Jordan de los Reyes, Illinois State (MVC Player of the Week)- .692, 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 1.462 SLG; Vicky Kinney, Omaha (Summit League Player of the Week)- .667 (10-for-15), .688 OBP, 1.133 SLG, 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI; Maddie Houlihan, Minnesota (Big Ten Player of the Week)- .526, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 7 R, .571 OBP; Sara Groenewegen, Minnesota (Big Ten Pitcher of the Week)- 3-0, 2 SHO, 0 R, 35 K, 2 BB, 25 IP; Sam Dellinger, Creighton (BIG EAST Player of the Week)- .588, 3 HR, 8 R, 7 RBI, 1.294 SLG