LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Hiram’s Giselle Bahena and Bethel’s Kayla Simacek captured the latest Division III Louisville Slugger/NFCA Player and Wilson/NFCA Pitcher of the Week honors on Tuesday.
Bahena, a graduate catcher from Pomona, Calif., was 13-for-17 (.765) with eight runs scored, six doubles, three walks and no strikeouts in 20 plate appearances. The Bishop Amat Memorial High graduate had three games with three hits and four multi-hit contests overall for the week, compiling a .800 on-base average and 1.118 slugging percentage. She also caught every inning, recording 36 putouts, four assists and no errors.
Simacek, a junior right-hander from Hastings, Minn., tossed a no-hitter against Saint Mary’s and became the 11th-ranked Royals’ single-season wins (16) and strikeout leader (228) this week. The Hastings High product went 7-0 with five complete games, a 0.98 ERA, three walks and 62 strikeouts. She fanned at least eight in all seven of her games, and extended her win streak to 22 starts.
Other Top Performances
Eastern Connecticut State senior pitcher Morgan Bolduk tossed a no-hitter and went 2-0 with two complete games, allowing just three hits and one walk, while fanning 16 over 12 innings. … Greenville freshman third baseman Mia Boyd was 10-for-21 (.476) with four runs, a double, two homers and six RBI. … East Texas Baptist sophomore third baseman Tauryn Cummings hit .625 and went 4-for-4 in the first game of a three-game series with Texas-Dallas. … Tufts sophomore pitcher Sophia DiCocco won three games and saved another, striking out 22 and walking none over 32 innings. … Berry sophomore pitcher Blair Hall pitched the first perfect game in school history in the winner’s bracket final of the Southern Athletic Association tournament and also helped herself at the plate with a .400 average and three RBI. … Loras freshman pitcher Ashlyn Hemm pitched a pair of one-hitters and fanned 35 over 25.1 innings. … Hiram freshman pitcher/utility player Darion Kanno went 4-0 with 29 strikeouts over 21 innings while also batting .526 with two doubles, a triple and five RBI. … Greenville senior pitcher Allison Klaus fanned 26 and walked just two en route to three wins in three appearances. … Pacific Lutheran senior right fielder Erin McGrath batted .500 with four runs, three doubles, a homer and seven RBI to help the Lutes reach the Northwest Conference tournament final. … Southern Maine sophomore pitcher Lauren Merrill tossed a one-hitter and allowed zero hits in a four-inning relief stint in her four-win week. … Massachusetts Institute of Technology sophomore designated player Katia Pendowski hit .474, and had six runs, three doubles, three homers and 12 RBI. She also set the Engineers’ single-season record (seven) for homers. … East Texas Baptist senior pitcher Kathryn Reed fanned seven in a victory over Texas-Dallas. … Rochester junior pitcher Emily Sharlach had a one-hitter and four-hitter (all singles), as the Yellowjackets stretched their win streak to 16 games. … Washington (Md.) junior catcher Lexie Witmer had her first career four-hit game and first career homer, while batting .632 (12-fo-19) with six runs, two doubles and seven RBI.
Winners are selected by the NFCA Division III Top 25 Committee, which has a representative for each of the 10 NCAA regions.
2022 Wilson/NFCA Division III National Pitcher of the Week
April 26 — Kayla Simacek, Bethel (Minn.), Jr., RHP, Hastings, Minn.
April 19 — Katie Murphy, Susquehanna, Sr., RHP, Havre de Grace, Md.
April 12 — Gracie Ellis, Randolph-Macon, Fr., RHP, New Kent, Va.
April 5 — Moira O’Reilly, Babson, So., RHP, Columbus, Ohio
March 29 — Caitlyn Burch, Mary Washington, So., RHP, Mechanicsville, Md.
March 22 — Ashlyn Hemm, Loras, Fr., RHP, Port Byron, Ill.
March 15 — Ashlyn Strother, Texas Lutheran, So., RHP, Seabrook, Texas
March 8 — Kate Alger, Christopher Newport, Fr., RHP, Staunton, Va.
2022 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division III National Player of the Week
April 26 — Giselle Bahena, Hiram, Gr., C, Pomona, Calif.
April 19 — Lauren Kay, Covenant, Fr., 3B, Chattanooga, Tenn.
April 12 — Hannah Ritter, Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Jr., 1B, Marengo, Ill.
April 5 — Anna Jackson, Berry, So., C, Suwanee, Ga.
March 29 — Hannah Davis, Skidmore, Sr., P/1B, Stafford, Conn.
March 22 — Franie Burnett, Central, So., RF, Ankeny, Iowa
March 15 — Kaitlyn Hasty, Christopher Newport, Sr., 1B, Chesapeake, Va.
March 8 — Sarah Proctor, Christopher Newport, Sr., OF, Mineral, Va.
The NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association) is the professional organization for fastpitch softball coaches. Known for its highly-regarded coaches polls and All-America awards, the NFCA also educates and supports softball coaches on a variety of different levels: from podcasts to awards, to in-person events and National Convention.