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Molloy’s Balinskas, CSU Monterey Bay’s Clarkson Receive Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division II National Honors

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Tracey Balinskas of Molloy and Lindsey Clarkson of Cal State Monterey Bay have been chosen as the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division II National Player and Pitcher of the Week for April 9th, respectively.

A sophomore third baseman/pitcher, Balinskas was tabbed as the East Coast Conference’s Player of the Week after hitting an incredible .704 (19-for-27) over an eight-game stretch with 13 runs scored, four walks, four doubles, two HR’s and 14 RBIs, while also going 4-0 from the circle over five appearances with 11 strikeouts in 22 innings of work. Among the Edison, N.J., native’s most impressive efforts was a 6-for-7 combined effort at the dish with three tallies, a trio of RBIs and a five-inning pitching decision from the circle (DH opener) during a doubleheader sweep of Mercy College, as well as a pair of 3-for-4 stints at the plate with a pitching victory in the opener and three combined RBIs combining two triumphs over Dominican College. Balinskas currently rates second on the Molloy squad in batting average (.431) to go along with 22 runs scored, 10 extra-base hits and 19 RBIs, while boasting an 8-5 mark from the circle with a 3.27 ERA and 40 strikeouts over a team-high 77 innings. 

"I’m very honored to have received this award," Balinskas said. "We have worked really hard as a team, day in and day out, to get better each day and improve each game!  I’m also proud to be able to represent Molloy College on a national level and bring attention to how great a tiny school from New York can be!"

“Tracey has really been an offensive catalyst for our team all year,” Molloy head coach Susan Cassidy-Lyke said. “Last week was special for her. Her offensive success has been helpful for the entire lineup providing protection for our #3 hitter.” 

Clarkson, a sophomore hurler from Fresno, Calif., was selected as the California Collegiate Athletic Association’s Pitcher of the Week after helping Cal State Monterey Bay to the silver bracket championship at the Tournament of Champions in Turlock, Calif. Including an earlier mid-week triumph, she rung up a stellar 6-0 record with three complete games and a miniscule 0.39 ERA, allowing just two earned runs and 15 total hits while striking out 24 over 35.2 innings to go along with a .500 batting average (3-for-6) at the plate. Clarkson made six pitching appearances over five days (five appearances in three days at the Tournament of Champions), registering victories over Central Washington (7 IP, three hits, no earned runs, 5 K), Academy of Art (7 IP, three hits, no earned runs, 7 K), Dominican University (4 IP, two hits, no earned runs, 3 K), No. 2 California Baptist, Chaminade (3.2 IP, no hits, no earned runs, 6 K) and Chico State (silver title game). Against the second-ranked Lancers, she fired 3.2 no-hit innings as CSUMB completed a 4-3 upset. During the championship versus the Wildcats, Clarkson was touched for her only two earned tallies of the week on three hits, but still managed to twirl a complete game, three-hitter as the Otters prevailed, 5-2. Overall in 2014, she holds a 19-2 record with a 1.38 ERA and 106 strikeouts over 121.1 innings of effort. 

“I’m thrilled to have been chosen national pitcher of the week,” Clarkson said. “I’m so happy CSUMB softball is being recognized at the national level. It goes without saying, I could not have done this without my teammates and coaches.” 

“Having Lindsey Clarkson recognized at the national level speaks highly of the hard work put in by every player in our program,” Cal State Monterey Bay head coach Andrea Kenney said. “She has had an outstanding year and deserves the highest recognition for it. With Lindsey and Cori Reinhardt, we are fortunate to have two pitchers on our staff that give us a chance to win every time we take the field.”


Other Selected Top Performances

West Virginia Wesleyan’s Jess Griffin, the Mountain East Player of the Week, batted .611 (11-for-18) with eight RBIs and also went 3-0 from the circle with a 0.00 ERA, a save and a no-hitter against West Liberty…GLIAC Pitcher of the Week, Rachael Stanzel of Ohio Dominican, went 3-1 overall and was at her best during the weekend, posting a 0.67 ERA over 21 innings with a pair of shutouts against No. 6 Wayne State (MI)…West Chester’s J.P. Norris, the PSAC East Athlete of the Week, hit .519 (14-for-27) over eight games with five multiple-hit efforts as her squad swept DH’s from Shippensburg, Millersville and East Stroudsburg…RMAC Player of the Week Metro State of Denver’s Kaylynn Harmon hit at an .818 clip (9-for-11) with six extra-base hits and nine RBIs versus UC-Colorado Springs and New Mexico Highlands…UMSL’s Hannah Perryman earned GLVC Pitcher of the Week accolades after registering a 2-0 mark to go along with a pair of complete-game shutouts while also recording 20 K’s against Drury to equal an NCAA record and becoming her school’s career strikeout leader…North Georgia’s Courtney Poole hit .667 (6-for-9) with a pair of RBIs and a 1-0 pitching mark as UNG swept No. 4 Armstrong Atlantic…Lenoir-Rhyne’s Maryann Hoskins was 4-0 with three complete games (Coker, King & Lincoln Memorial) and 30 strikeouts over 23.2 frames on the way to SAC Pitcher of the Week honors…Augustana’s (SD) Jenelle Trautmann picked up the NSIC Pitcher of the Week award after going 3-0 with a 0.78 ERA, including a victory over No. 19 Winona State…Mountain East Conference Co-Pitcher of the Week Taylor Brandts of UVa-Wise tallied a 5-0 mark, including a no-hitter against West Virginia State, and 26 K’s over 27 frames…Sunshine State Conference Pitcher of the Week Niki Fogle of Rollins earned all three of her team’s wins over Florida Tech with a 0.43 ERA and 14 K’s over 16.1 innings…Washburn’s Marina Quimby batted .545 (12-for-22) with seven tallies, three extra-base hits and 11 RBIs to reap MIAA Hitter of the Week…St. Mary’s (TX) hurler Emily Brittain went 3-0 with a save, tossing two shutouts and a trio of complete games over 19.2 innings while earning Heartland Conference Pitcher of the Week…Alderson Broaddus’ Regan Drake, the GMAC Offensive Athlete of the Week, hit .609 with 14 hits and 12 RBIs during contests against Davis & Elkins, Trevecca Nazarene and Kentucky Wesleyan…Caldwell’s Megan Fryday batted .552 (16-for-29) with eight tallies, two doubles, two HR’s and 10 RBIs to reap CACC Co-Player of the Week with Georgian Court’s Taylor McDonough (.478 average, 11-for-23, two HR’s, 11 RBIs)…Lone Star Conference Pitcher of the Week, Brandie Lander of Texas Woman’s, went 2-0 from the circle over four appearances with a no-hitter (first no-hitter for any pitcher over Midwestern State in MSU’s program history), a pair of complete-game shutouts, a 0.55 ERA and 11 strikeouts over 12.2 IP.


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.

March 19 – Chloe Wolf – North Alabama – Jr. – 1B – Oakville, Mo.

March 26 – Courtney Albritton – Valdosta State – Jr. – UTIL – Sycamore, Ga.

April 2 – Shelby Miller – Southern Arkansas – Fr. – P/IF – Brazoria, Texas

April 9 – Tracey Balinskas – Molloy – So. – 3B/P – Edison, N.J.


2014 Louisville Slugger Division II National Pitcher of the Week 

Feb. 19 – Lyndsay Butler – Wayne State (MI) – 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.

March 19 – Kindra Henze – Truman State – So. – P – Palmyra, Mo.

March 26 – Kalyn Loverich – Flagler – Sr. – P – St. Johns, Fla.

April 2 – Stacey Houser – Wingate – So. – P – Mooresville, N.C.

April 9 – Lindsey Clarkson – Cal State Monterey Bay – So. – P – Fresno, Calif.