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Alabama’s Traina & W. Illinois’ Marshall Tabbed as Louisville Slugger/NFCA Div. I Co-Nat'l Players of the Week

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Senior pitcher/utility player Jaclyn Traina of Alabama and junior shortstop/outfielder Sammy Marshall of Western Illinois have been chosen as the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I Co-National Players of the Week for games played over March 17-23.

Traina, the reigning Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week, was her often dominant self from the circle, especially during the Crimson Tide’s high-profile series at then-No. 1 Florida, posting a 2-0 record with a save, a 0.93 ERA and 11 strikeouts over 15 total innings of work. 

After earning a save during a 3-1, mid-week triumph over Georgia State, the Naples, Fla., native picked up the win in the series opener at top-ranked UF, allowing one earned run on just two hits with six strikeouts in a complete game effort as ‘Bama won 4-2. Starting Sunday’s rubber-match, Traina was even more dominant from the circle, twirling a two-hit shutout as UA earned the series victory via a 7-0 romp. Thus far in 2014, Traina is 11-2 overall with a 1.84 ERA, eight complete games, two solo shutouts and 99 K’s over a team-leading 87.1 innings of effort. 

“It’s a tremendous honor to be named NFCA National Player of the Week,” said Traina. “It’s a great award, and I am just blessed to be part of this great program at Alabama. It’s an honor to receive this award, but I never could have earned it without the help of my teammates.”

“It’s a tremendous honor for Jaclyn,” Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy said. “It’s not easy to go into Gainesville in front of huge crowds all weekend and beat them twice on their own turf. I think Sunday may have been her best game of the year so far.” 

It’s hard to top perfection, and that’s exactly what Marshall accomplished this past weekend during a three-game series at IUPUI on the way to earning Summit League Player of the Week accolades. The Naperville, Ill., native was a perfect 11-for-11 (1.000 batting average) from her lead-off position in the line-up with seven runs scored, seven stolen bases, two doubles, a HR and four RBIs. 

After going 3-for-3 with two tallies, a double and an RBI during Saturday’s doubleheader opener, she followed that up with a 4-for-4 effort that included two runs scored, four steals, a two-bagger and an RBI. During Sunday’s series finale, Marshall again went 4-for-4 to go along with three tallies, two steals, a HR and two RBIs. She currently leads the NCAA in batting average (.547), is tied for first in runs per game (1.44) and is sixth in both on-base percentage (.594) and stolen bases per game (0.88) while having reached safely in every game this season. Marshall has been held hitless only once while playing a schedule that has included match-ups against nationally ranked teams such as Oklahoma, Tulsa and Auburn.

“I'd like to thank the NFCA for this award...honestly, I never thought this was possible, this is an unexplainable honor,” Marshall said. “Last weekend, I just tried to read the defense and take advantage of what I saw. I've always wanted to be a dynamic player getting the team started any way possible, and in the later innings, come through with runners on. If I don't come through, I know we have players behind me who will, and I have the utmost confidence in every single one of them. We have such a great team, and I have so many teammates who are just as talented as me that I don't have to put any added pressure on myself. We had two good wins this past weekend because of the production from every part of our order. This award wouldn't mean anything without the success of the team, and I'm so happy I get to share this honor with my teammates.”

“Sammy worked hard in the offseason to improve every facet of her game at the plate, she didn't want to be known as just a slapper or as a hitter,” Western Illinois head coach Holly Van Vlymen said. “This past weekend she read the situations very well and executed the game plan we had set when she was at bat and on the bases. She is one of the leaders on this team and leads by example with her work ethic and dedication on and off the field. This team feeds off each other, and with Sammy batting leadoff, she provides a spark for the offense with her confident approach at the plate. Everyone in the lineup knows they can remain relaxed, and that confidence resonates from top to bottom in the order.”

  

Selected Top Performances

Oregon’s Alexa Peterson, the PAC-12 Player of the Week, batted .857 (6-for-7) with five runs scored, four extra-base hits and 13 RBIs in a three-game league series at Utah…Cheyenne Cordes of California hit .684 (13-for-19) with seven tallies, three HR’s and 10 RBIs over six games against Grand Canyon, Princeton and Santa Clara…Kansas’ Harli Ridling batted .480 (12-for-25) with two doubles, four HR’s and 11 RBIs and was responsible for the game-winning HR in an upset of #8 Kentucky…Arizona’s Katiyana Mauga batted .615 (8-for-13) with three doubles, four HR’s and 10 RBIs over a five-contest stretch against UNLV and Oregon State…Middle Tennessee’s Laura Dukes was a perfect 9-for-9 at the dish with four doubles, a HR and six RBIs, including a 1-1 effort with a HR and two RBIs versus #3 Tennessee…Ohio State’s Evelyn Carrillo batted .700 (7-for-10) with two HR’s and six RBIs during the Buckeyes’ sweep of Michigan State…USF’s Sara Nevins was 3-0 with a 1.88 ERA and 34 K’s over 18 innings while also tossing her second no-hitter of the season during a win over UConn…Oklahoma’s Shelby Pendley batted .625 (5-for-8) with a walk-off single in the first game against LSU and made three appearances from the circle while earning a save in the finale versus the Bayou Bengals…Norfolk State’s Robyn Mitchell batted .500 (9-for-18) with four HR’s and 16 RBIs against Rider and Coppin State…Creighton’s Liz Dike, the BIG EAST Player of the Week, went 6-for-9 at the dish with five HR’s and 10 RBIs…Loyola Marymount’s Sterling Shuster, the West Coast Conference Player of the Week, led LMU by hitting .500 (10-for-20) with a HR and 10 RBIs over seven contests…UCF’s Shelby Turnier earned American Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week accolades after garnering three wins with 36 K’s and a 0.61 ERA while also tossing her first career no-hitter in a victory versus Memphis…Stetson’s Courtney Brandt, the Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Week, batted .500 (9-for-18) with five HR’s and 14 RBIs last week combined against Marist, Buffalo and ETSU…Tennessee’s Madison Shipman earned SEC Player of the Week honors after hitting .429 (6-for-14) with a double and seven RBIs against a combo of Middle Tennessee and South Carolina…Purdue’s Tori Chiodo reached base 12 of the 13 times she appeared at the plate for the Boilermakers during a sweep of Penn State, batting .778 for the week with 11 RBIs to be named Big Ten Conference Player of the Week…Eastern Kentucky’s Sarah Fobbs batted .583 (7-for-12) with four HR’s and seven RBIs while tallying at least one hit in four straight contests…James Madison’s Taylor Newton hit at a .625 clip (5-for-8) with three HR’s and eight RBIs to earn Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week.

  

2014 Louisville Slugger Division I National Player of the Week 

Feb. 11 – Griffin Joiner – Kentucky – Jr. – C – Hopkinsville, Ky.

Feb. 18 – Bryana Walker – Washington – Sr. – P – La Quinta, Calif.

Feb. 25 – Anna Miller (Co-) – USC Upstate – Sr. – P – Portland, Ore.

                Ally Carda (Co-) – UCLA – Jr. – P/UTIL – Elk Grove, Calif.

March 4 – Lacey Waldrop – Florida State – Jr. – P – Chester, Va.

March 11 – Dallas Escobedo – Arizona State – Sr. – P – Glendale, Ariz.

March 18 – Sydney O’Hara – Syracuse – Fr. – P/OF/1B – Cicero, N.Y.

March 25 – Jaclyn Traina (Co-) – Alabama – Sr. – P/UTIL – Naples, Fla.

                  Sammy Marshall (Co-) – Western Illinois – Jr. – SS/OF – Naperville, Ill.