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LOUISVILLE, Ky. –A pair of freshmen, Oklahoma’s Tiare Jennings and Bowling Green’s Paige Gottshall, made some noise during the first weekend of NCAA Division I softball. For their outstanding performances, Jennings was tabbed Division I Louisville Slugger/NFCA Player of the Week and Gottshall Wilson/NFCA Pitcher of the Week, respectively.

Jennings, a native of San Pedro, Calif., was part of the Sooner home run party at the Miner Invitational. Going 12-for-13 (.923) at the plate, she launched five long balls, doubled three times, drove in 12 runs and slugged 2.308. In Jennings’ first collegiate game, she hit three of OU’s NCAA single-game record 13 home runs during a 29-0 win over UTEP. She finished the game 4-for-4 with six RBI and two walks. She also scored 12 times, including four in each of OU’s wins over UTEP. 

Gottshall, a redshirt freshman, was dominant in her three appearances, which included a perfect game and a school-record strikeout performance. She posted a 3-0 record with a 0.00 ERA and 51 strikeouts to zero walks over 21.1 innings of work. Gottshall held Cleveland State to five hits and a .072 batting average. 

In her 2021 debut, she fanned a school-record 20 batters and faced just two over the minimum in a one-hit shutout. The right-handed hurler followed that with a 16-strikeout perfect game. It was just the second perfecto in program history and first since 1993. In game two of the doubleheader, Gottshall struck out 15 Vikings in 7.1 innings of relief, allowing the Falcons to rally for an 8-7 extra-inning victory.

Selected Top Performances
Samantha Diaz, UNLV - .429, 6 H, 6 HR, 13 RBI, 1.500 SLG, .467 OBP; Montana Fouts, Alabama – 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 20 K, 1 H, 1 BB, 12 IP, perfect game (5 IP) vs. Alabama State; Blake Neleman, Georgia Tech – 3-0, 0.41 ERA, 29 K, 4 BB, 2 SHO, 17 IP; Charla Echols, Florida – 1.000 (6-for-6), 2B, 3B, HR, 6 RBI, 2.000 SLG, BB, HBP; Kelly Maxwell, Oklahoma State – 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 14 K, 2 BB, SHO, .050 opp. BA; Maddie Penta, Auburn – 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 13 K, 2 H, .051 opp. BA, no-hitter vs. SEMO (5 IP); Gabbie Plain, Washington – 1-0, 0.00 ERA, SHO, SV, 22 K, 2 BB, perfect game vs. Southern Utah (5 IP); Hope Trautwein, North Texas – 1-0, 2.00 ERA, 21 K, 2 BB, 7 IP, third pitcher in NCAA DI history to strike out 21 in a seven-inning game; Emma Kauf, Georgia Tech - .692 (9-for-13), 4 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 1.462 SLG, .789 OBP, 3 SB, 6 BB; Lia Lombardini, UMKC - . 500, 4 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 1.071 SLG; Keely Rochard, Virginia Tech – 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 SHO, 18 K, 2 BB, 5 H, .104 opp. BA; Tori Kniesche, South Dakota State – 2-0, 1.00 ERA, 6 H, 14 IP.

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