LOUISVILLE, Ky. – UNC Pembroke’s Abbey Walters and Florida Tech’s Rachel Pence were named the Louisville Slugger / NFCA Division II National Player and Pitcher, respectively. Walters and Pence earned the honor for their outstanding play for games played Feb. 6-12, announced by the Association on Wednesday afternoon.
Walters, hailing from Bladenboro, N.C., put forth a tremendous showing at the plate and in the circle in keying UNC Pembroke to a 4-2 showing last week. The senior hit .765 (13-for-17) with nine extra-base hits- six doubles and three home runs- and 10 RBI, while tossing a no-hitter and holding her opponents to a .179 batting average in three starts. She scored 12 times, swiped five bases, slugged a whopping 1.647 and posted a .762 on-base percentage.
On Feb. 9, she launched a school-record three home runs, drove in five and scored four times in a victory over Queens (N.C.). Two day later against Barton, she tossed a near perfect game. Walters fanned seven Bulldogs and walked one for her second career no-hitter. The Peach Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week, allowed just three earned runs and struck out 12. Additionally, she went a perfect 4-for-4 with four doubles, four RBI and five runs in the doubleheader sweep of Barton.
Pence, selected the Sunshine State Conference Player of the Week, had a stellar weekend in the circle for the Panthers. Named the NFCA Division Leadoff Classic MVP, Pence helped FIT finish 4-1 at the Leadoff with complete-game wins over then-No. 10 Wayne State (Mich.), then-No. 12 St. Mary’s and Georgia College, along with a two-inning save versus Central Missouri. For the weekend, Pence finished 3-0 with a save and 21 strikeouts to just three walks.
The senior from Jacksonville, Fla. opened with nine-strikeout, zero-walk performance against the 12th-ranked Rattlers. Pence followed with a one-hit shutout against the Warriors. She fanned three and did not issue a free pass. In her save against the Jennies, the right-handed hurler struck out four and walked one.
Player of the Week
Feb. 15 – Abbey Walters (UNC Pembroke)
Feb. 8 – Tiffany Hollingsworth (Humboldt State)
Pitcher of the Week
Feb. 15 – Rachel Pence (Florida Tech)
Feb. 8 – Anna Kasner (Western Washington)
Selected Top Performances
Allie Smith, West Texas A&M (Lone Star Player of the Week)- .563 (9-16), 6 2B, HR, 10 RBI, 9 runs, 1.125 SLG, .588 OBP; London Miller, California Baptist (PacWest Co-Player of the Week)- .667 (8-for-12), 5 HR, 10 RBI, 7 R, 1.917 SLG; Dana Weidinger, Hillsdale (GLIAC Pitcher of the Week)- earned first two collegiate wins at NFCA Leadoff Classic, 1.33 ERA, 13 K, 2 BB, 21 IP; Carly Kingery, Missouri-St. Louis (GLVC Pitcher of the Week)- 2-1, 0.41 ERA, 17 K, 1 ER, .153 opp BA; Jill Roye, Southern Arkansas (GAC Co-Player of the Week)- .533, 2B, 2 HR, grand slam, 14 RBI; Hannah Johnson, Harding (GAC Pitcher of the Week)- 2-0, 0 R, 14 K, .143 opp BA; Marley Stowers, West Georgia (Gulf South Player of the Week)- .579 (11-for-19), 3 3B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 7 R; Anyssa Barbosa, Oklahoma Panhandle State (Heartland Player of the Week)- .692 (9-for-13), 3 2B, grand slam, 12 RBI; Jessica Gonzalez, Dixie State (PacWest Co-Player of the Week)- .500 (8-for-16), 6 XBH, 13 RBI, 10 R, 8 BB, 1.483 SLG; Kacey Ayers, Southwest Baptist (MIAA Pitcher of the Week)- 2-1, 1.17 ERA, 16 K, 18 IP, SHO, .209 opp BA; Jess Meidl, Minnesota State (NSIC Player of the Week)- .750 (9-for-12), 1.250 SLG, 3 2B, 7 RBI, HR; Libby Bemis, Minnesota State (NSIC Pitcher of the Week)- 2-0, 2 SHO, 19 K, 12 IP, 4H; Gianna Melaragno, Fort Lewis (RMAC Player of the Week)- .500, 8 H, 10 R, 3 RBI, 2 2B, 2 3B, 2 BB, .579 OBP; Hannah Price, Coker (SAC Player of the Week)- .471, 8H, 2 2B, 13 RBI, grand slam, 5 R.