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Oklahoma Christian’s Ratliff, USC Aiken’s Kornegay Earn Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division II National Honors
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Kala Ratliff of Oklahoma Christian and India Kornegay of USC Aiken have been chosen as the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division II National Player and Pitcher of the Week for March 12th, respectively.
Ratliff had one of the greatest hitting weeks in Oklahoma Christian softball history, batting .857 (12-for-14) with 10 runs scored, four stolen bases, two doubles, a HR and eight RBIs over four match-ups against then-No. 21 Emporia State and Southwestern Oklahoma State. The senior catcher/third baseman posted a stretch of 11 consecutive at-bats with a base hit and reached in all but one of her 16 total plate appearances by either run, walk or error while slugging at a 1.214 clip. Her finest effort came during the second game of a March 6 doubleheader against No. 21 ESU as Ratliff went 5-for-5 at the dish with three tallies, a HR and four RBIs. Thus far in 2014 for the Lady Eagles, she is hitting .421 overall with 17 tallies, six extra-base hits, six stolen bases and 14 RBIs.
"This is a big honor, and I really appreciate even being considered for it,” Ratliff said. “Moving to the leadoff spot made me focus a lot more, because I'd never done it before. I was nervous about it, so I put in a lot of extra work and it paid off. I was so locked in, I didn't even realize what I had done until I saw it on our school website. My teammates did their jobs, too, and that's what allowed me the chance for the RBIs. It's fun being on a team like ours, with so many great players."
"This is a big deal for our program, for one of our players to be recognized by such an important organization in our sport,” Oklahoma Christian head coach Tom Heath said. “Yoda (Kala’s team nickname) is one of the best third basemen that we've ever had here at Oklahoma Christian and is an outstanding defensive ballplayer. Lately, we moved her to the leadoff position because her on-base percentage was so high, because we wanted to see what she could do there. Ever since that move, she has just lit it up offensively."
The reigning Peach Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week, Kornegay tallied a perfect 3-0 record with a 0.67 ERA, three complete games, a pair of shutouts and 42 strikeouts over just 21 innings of work last week against Erskine, Brevard and West Georgia. She christened her efforts on Tuesday via a two-hit, 15-strikeout blanking of Erskine and began the weekend on Saturday by twirling a one-hitter, striking out eight as the Pacers rolled past Brevard, 7-0. On Sunday, despite permitting the only two earned runs she would allow for the week, Kornegay made school history by breaking the USC Aiken single-game record for strikeouts with a staggering 19 K’s over seven frames of work in a 3-2 victory. For the year she remains a perfect 11-0 with 10 complete games, a 1.00 ERA and 158 K’s over 76.2 innings.
"It's a tremendous honor to be named NFCA Pitcher of the Week," Kornegay said. "This is not just a reflection of my work, but my teammates as well. They've really made it easy to just go out there and relax. This has been the best team I've been on, and I'm proud to share this honor with my team and the entire USC Aiken family."
Other Selected Top Performances
Micherie Koria of Angelo State earned Lone Star Conference Hitter of the Week accolades after batting .846 (10-for-13) with 10 runs scored, five steals and eight RBIs as the Rambelles swept Texas A&M International and then-No. 4 Texas Woman’s…Lubbock Christian’s Ashton Bell, the Heartland Conference Player of the Week, hit at an .842 clip (16-for-19) with two doubles, two triples, four HR’s and 14 RBIs combined against University of the Southwest (NAIA) and Newman…Northeast-10 Player of the Week, Southern New Hampshire’s Ali Maloof, was 3-1 from the circle with a no-hitter (vs. Holy Family), a 0.68 ERA and 30 strikeouts over 31 innings while also hitting .467 (14-for-30) with three doubles and two RBIs…West Florida’s Taylor Bailey earned Gulf South Pitcher of the Week accolades after posting a 4-0 record, a 1.27 ERA and 18 strikeouts over 22 frames…Central Oklahoma’s Kalynn Schrock, the MIAA Pitcher of the Week, was 3-0 with a 0.50 ERA and 22 K’s over just 14 innings of work as the Bronchos swept Lindenwood and Lincoln…Cal State Monterey Bay’s Cori Reinhardt, the CCAA Pitcher of the Week, struck out 16 over 21 frames, registered a 3-0 mark to go with a 0.33 ERA and limited opponents to just a .101 batting average…Tayla Trask of Saint Anselm was 5-0 with a 0.78 ERA and 43 strikeouts over 36 innings in earning Northeast-10 Pitcher of the Week honors…SAC Softball Player of the Week, Carson-Newman’s Kelli Hensley, hit 11-for-17 (.647) at the dish with a double, two triples, five tallies and four RBIs…Armstrong Atlantic’s Alexis Mercer, the Peach Belt Conference Player of the Week, hit .438 (7-for-16) with two doubles, four HR’s and eight RBIs against a combo of Saint Leo, Lincoln Memorial, Palm Beach Atlantic and Nova Southeastern…RMAC Pitcher of the Week, Jessica Severinsen of Colorado Mesa, went 4-0 from the circle and allowed a .228 batting average against in a sweep of defending league champion Colorado School of Mines…Felician College’s Ciera Clark, the CACC Player of the Week, batted .714 (10-for-14) with two doubles, two HR’s (including her first career grand slam) and nine RBIs…Lyndsay Butler of Wayne State (MI) batted .583 (7-for-12) while also going 1-1 from the circle with a 0.48 ERA and 20 K’s…Cedarville’s Kelsey Chapman, the GMAC Player of the Week, batted .382 with a team-high 13 hits, five doubles, a triple and 10 RBIs…U-Mary’s Allison Brown, the NSIC Player of the Week, hit .429 with 15 hits, including five doubles and three HR’s, and 11 RBIs while hitting safely in eight of 10 match-ups…Wayne’s State (MI) pitcher Briana Lee was 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and tossed five scoreless innings during a 1-0 win over then-No. 12 LIU Post.
2014 Louisville Slugger Division II National Player of the Week
Feb. 19 – Darian Dunn – Angelo State – So. – IF/OF – Frisco, Texas
Feb. 26 – Jessica Sipe – West Texas A&M – Sr. – 3B – Phoenix, Ariz.
March 5 – Tiffany Brown – Pittsburg State – Sr. – UTIL – Catoosa, Okla.
March 12 – Kala Ratliff – Oklahoma Christian – Sr. – C/3B – Yukon, Okla.
2014 Louisville Slugger Division II National Pitcher of the Week
Feb. 19 – Lyndsay Butler – Wayne State Univ. – R-Fr. – P – Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Feb. 26 – Rachel Pence – Florida Tech – Fr. – P – Jacksonville, Fla.
March 5 – Carley Tysinger – Catawba – So. – P – Lexington, N.C.
March 12 – India Kornegay – USC Aiken – Sr. – P – Eufaula, Ala.