LOUISVILLE, Ky. –Western Washington sophomore Emily Benson and Findlay sophomore Chelsea McManaway were named the Louisville/Slugger NFCA Division II National Player and Pitcher of the Week for games played March 21-27, announced the association on Wednesday afternoon.


Benson put up big numbers over a seven-game stretch last week for the Vikings. She hit .609 (14-for-23) with five home runs, 16 RBI and 11 runs scored. The Great Northwest Athletic Conference’s (GNAC) home run (12) and RBI (40) leader, slugged 1.261, walked eight times and registered a .709 on-base percentage.

A West Richland, Wash. native, Benson capped her week off with back-to-back five-RBI performances at Montana State-Billings. She launched two long balls and scored three times in the opener and continued her red-hot bat in the finale, going 2-for-3 with a homer, run. Benson walked seven times during the four-game series, and also homered, knocked in four and scored three times in the opener against the Yellowjackets.

“Emily had a fantastic approach at the plate all last week and was just really locked in,” said head coach Amy Suiter. “It seemed as if she was an instant RBI each time she stepped to the plate. The most impressive thing about her numbers this season is that she isn’t trying to do too much. A lot of her home runs have been to the opposite field and she has had that approach the whole season. Not trying to do too much. It’s been fun to watch.”

Backed by a no-hitter, McManaway was nearly unhittable last week for the Oilers. Allowing no runs and just one hit over 16.2 innings, the southpaw was 3-0 with a save, 37 strikeouts and held the opposition to a .019 batting average. The no-hitter came in the middle of her dominating week as McManaway struck out eight and walked one in a six-inning triumph.

"Being named national pitcher of the week is a big honor and sets the bar very high for the rest of the season and my career, said McManaway. "This week, the rise ball was working really well and I was able to keep the hitters on their toes. In the no-hitter, I was lucky to be backed by my teammates, who played great defense. Overall, the team meshed well this week and picked each other up to get us to the nine-game winning streak."

Hailing from Wellston, Ohio, McManaway struck out the side to earn a save in her first appearance of the week against Lourdes The hurler came back in game two and struck out 12 over 4.2 innings to help complete the twin bill sweep. Following the no-no, McManaway fanned a season-high 14 batters over five innings against Lake Superior State. The reigning Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Pitcher of the week is 11-1 this season with a 0.40 ERA and 108 strikeouts in 70.2 innings.

"This is a wonderful honor both for Chelsea and for our team. Chelsea is a selfless player who is solely focused on the success of the team, rather than individual honors."


Player of the Week
March 30 – Emily Benson (Western Washington)
March 23 – Ashlyn White (Henderson State)
March 16 – Sydney Wellman (St. Mary’s)
March 9 – Taylor Zimmerman (Washburn)
March 2 – Shayne Starkey (West Texas A&M)
Feb. 24 – Cheyanne Head (Barry)
Feb. 17 – Hannah Michel (St. Mary’s)
Feb. 10 – Darian Harris (Southern Arkansas)

Pitcher of the Week
March 30 – Chelsea McManaway (Findlay)
March 23 – Courtney Poole (North Georgia)
March 16 – Bekah Slattery (Lock Haven)
March 9 – Hannah Perryman (UMSL)
March 2 – Morgan Foley (Indianapolis)
Feb. 24 – Carley Tysinger (Catawba)
Feb. 17 – Hannah Perryman (UMSL)
Feb. 10 – Kaylee Garner (Southern Arkansas)

Selected Top Performances
Humboldt State’s Tiffany Hollingsworth – CCAA Player of the Week - .818 (9-for-11), 2 2B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 4 R, 2 BB, .857 OBP, 1.545 SLG… Indianapolis’ Morgan Foley – GLVC Pitcher of the Week - 5-0, 0.26 ERA, 54 K, 27 IP, .112 opp BA, 0 XBH… Academy of Art’s Elise Oldham – PacWest Co-Player of the Week - .636 (7-for-11), 3 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R, 1.455 SLG… Dixie State’s Aryn Feickert – PacWest Player of the Week - no-hitter vs. Chaminade with a season-high 11 strikeouts (6 IP)… Barton’s Megan Kelly – Conference Carolinas Player of the Week - .571, 8 H, 2 2B, 3 3B, HR, 7 RBI… Minnesota State’s Coley Ries – NSIC Pitcher of the Week - 2-1, 1.33 ERA, 45 K, 21 IP… Northeastern State’s Kayce Wooldridge – MIAA Pitcher of the Week - 3-0, 0.86 ERA, shutout, 16 K… Colorado Christian’s Michaela Barr – RMAC Player of the Week - .526 (10-for-19), 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 6 R… Catawba’s Carley Tysinger – SAC Pitcher of the Week - 3-0, save, 0.56 ERA, 38 K, 25 IP… Southern New Hampshire’s Katie Caruso – NE-10 Player of the Week - .615 (8-for-13), 2 HR, 7 RBI, 7 R, 1.077 SLG, .625 OBP… UMSL’s Erin Walker – GLVC Player of the Week - .600 (12-for-20), 4 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 11 R, .652 OBP, 1.200 SLG… Bloomsburg’s Taylor Parker – PSAC Central Pitcher of the Week - 2-0, 2 shutouts, 13 K, 12 IP; no-hitter vs. IUP (5 IP, 7 K); .588, 5 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 8 R, 1.412 SLG, .632 OBP… Texas A&M University-Kingsville’s Lauren Oatman – Lone Star Player of the Week .765, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 6 R, 0 K, .765 OBP, 1.357 SLG… Ferris State’s Bailey Darwin – GLIAC Player of the Week - .643, 9 H, 8 RBI, 2 2B, 2 HR, 1.214 SLG… Caldwell’s Marisa Monasseri – CACC Player of the Week - .529, 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 6 R, 5 BB, 1.059 SLG… Pace’s Kaitlynn Nelson – NE-10 Pitcher of the Week - 2-0, 0.71 ERA, 17 K, 19.2 IP, shutout… North Georgia’s Courtney Poole – Peach Belt Pitcher of the Week - 4-0, 0.27 ERA 17 K, 26 IP… UMSL’s Hannah Perryman – 6-0, 0.58 ERA, 3 shutouts, 66 K, 36 IP; Perfect game vs. Lindenwood (5 IP 12 K)… Wayne State University’s Lyndsay Butler – 2-0, save, 0.00 ERA, 1 R, 0 ER, 19 K, 0 BB, .078 opp. BA, shutout; Perfect game at Malone (6 IP, 12 K)… Charleston’s Laura Ashlock – Mountain East Player of the Week - .667, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 5 R, 7 BB, .720 OBP, 1.222 SLG… Lubbock Christian’s Sydney Beuthien – Heartland Player of the Week - .538, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 7 R, 1.231 SLG.

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