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Cooper Homers in Five Consecutive Games, Earns Louisville Slugger/NFCA DIII POW Honors

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – After turning in a .714 batting average on a 15-for-21 performance at the plate with five home runs, two doubles and a 1.619 slugging percentage over a span of eight games last week, Arielle Cooper of Eastern Connecticut has earned Louisville Slugger/NFCA Player of the Week honors for the week of April 1 through April 7.

Cooper and the Warriors were 6-2, while the senior from Mystic, Conn. established a new Eastern Connecticut record for career home runs (33), surpassing the previous standard by launching a round-tripper in each of her first five games of the week.

During a doubleheader sweep of Lesley, Cooper went a combined 7-for-8 with two doubles, a triple, two home runs, and five RBI.  She also went 3-for-4 with a run scored as Eastern Connecticut nearly upset sixth-ranked Tufts on April 7.

Up next for Cooper and the Warriors is a match up against Trinity College, followed by games against Salve Regina, Plymouth State and Massachusetts Dartmouth.

The Louisville Slugger/NFCA Player of the Week is voted on by a committee of eight NCAA Division III softball coaches representing the eight NCAA regions. Voting reflects the previous week’s performances from Monday through Sunday of each week.

Another Outstanding Performance: Senior catcher Sarah Belote of Trine University set an NCAA Division III single-game softball record on Saturday with 14 RBIs in the Thunder’s 34-0 victory over Olivet. Belote went 6-for-6 in the game, while smacking four home runs to tie the D-III record. She also doubled and singled, giving her 19 total bases on the day – a Division III record. The 14 RBIs breaks the previous single-game mark of 12 set by Giovanna Roberson of Hunter, N.Y., in 1998 and equaled by Gina Moscato of Farmingdale State, N.Y. in 2004. On the week, Belote batted .500 with six home runs, 20 RBIs, 12 runs, one double and two walks on 10 hits in 20 at-bats.