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Higginbotham, Heacox Score Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division III National Player, Pitcher of Week Honors
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Tori Higginbotham of Virginia Wesleyan and Gustavus Adolphus’ Hannah Heacox have been selected as the Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division III National Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively.
Higginbotham, a senior outfielder and leadoff hitter for the (37-5) Marlins, was a key contributor to her team’s 6-0 week and 4-0 run to its record-tying eighth Old Dominion Athletic Conference softball title and third in the last four years.
The Glen Allen, Va., native batted .650 (13-of-20) with 12 runs, a double, homer, eight steals and seven runs batted in, as she earned the ODAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player award and the Marlins scored an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament.
Heacox, a freshman right-hander for the (23-13) Gusties, went 4-0 with three shutouts and a save in her team’s 7-1 week, which locked up the No. 2 seed for the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament.
The Stillwater, Minn., native had eight strikeouts in an one-hitter against Augsburg, nine strikeouts in a two-hitter against St. Catherine and fanned eight Hamline batters in a three-hitter. For the week, Heacox allowed seven hits, walked three and collected 37 strikeouts over 27 innings in six appearances. She has not allowed a run in her last 32.2 innings.
Other Selected Top Performances
Moravian senior third baseman Rachel DeLucia hit .692 (9-of-13) with a double, three homers, seven runs and eight RBI, while compiling an 1.462 slugging percentage. She was 3-for-5 with two homers in a 19-11 win at Scranton. … Cabrini junior third baseman Steph Diegel was 11-for-25 (.440) with seven runs, five doubles, a triple, homer and seven RBI. … Wisconsin-Oshkosh senior first baseman Tess Fadness batted .609 (14-of-23) with five runs, four doubles, a homer and eight RBI. She had five multi-hit games, including going 6-for-8 with two doubles, a homer and six RBI in a sweep of Wisconsin-Superior and 5-for-8 in two games against Wisconsin-Whitewater. … Trine junior pitcher Bree Fuller threw a six-inning perfect game (eight strikeouts) against Saint Mary’s — her second no-hitter in four days — to become the first MIAA pitcher to collect two no-hitters in a season in the last 18 years. She also had 14 strikeouts in a two-hitter of John Carroll and notched a save with 1.1 innings of one-hit pitching in the nightcap of a triumph over Saint Mary’s. … Luther senior pitcher Becca Girvan was 3-0 for the week with a 0.00 ERA, one save, two shutouts, two hits and 25 strikeouts over 13 innings. She tossed a five-inning no-hitter (nine strikeouts) in the opener of a doubleheader with Loras and pitched a two-hitter (nine more strikeouts) in the first game of a twinbill with Buena Vista. … Rochester junior pitcher Brittany Grage was 3-1 with a 0.28 ERA, three shutouts, 14 hits, one run, two walks and 27 strikeouts in 25 innings. She tossed a pair of five-inning two-hitters against Nazareth (six strikeouts) and Rochester Institute of Technology (10 strikeouts) and pitched a three-hitter against Ithaca, while helping herself at the plate with a .346 average. … Eastern Connecticut State sophomore shortstop Alyssa Hancock was 13-of-19 (.684) with 11 runs, four doubles, two homers and seven RBI in a 5-1 week. She had four multi-hit games and three hits in three of those contests, while handling all 33 fielding chances flawlessly. … Virginia Wesleyan junior pitcher Kristina Karagiorgis was 4-0 with a save in five appearances in a 6-0 week for the Marlins. She allowed three earned runs in 24 innings (0.88 ERA) with 28 strikeouts and two walks to earn a spot on the ODAC All-Tournament team. … Rochester senior first baseman Nina Korn hit .519 (14-of-27) with two doubles, three homers and 11 RBI. Half of her eight games were multi-hit contests. … Wisconsin-Whitewater senior first baseman Morgan Krisch was 10-for-21 (.476) with a double, six homers and 11 RBI. She went 4-for-4 with three runs, two homers and four RBI in a win over St. Norbert and was 3-for-3 with two homers and four RBI in a win over Wisconsin-Superior. … East Texas Baptist senior second baseman Lacy Liles batted .545 (6-of-11) with two doubles, four homers, 11 RBI and an 1.818 slugging percentage in a three-game sweep of Sul Ross. All six of her hits were for extra bases and Liles went 3-for-3 with three runs, a double, two homers and six RBI in the opening game of the series. … East Texas Baptist senior pitcher Shelby Parker was 2-0 for the week with no hits or walks allowed while recording 10 strikeouts in eight innings against Sul Ross. She pitched a five-inning no–hitter in the three-game series finale, retiring the side in order over the first four innings. Parker fanned seven of 10 batters over three innings in the middle contest and extended her scoreless innings streak to 33. … Wisconsin-Eau Claire junior shortstop Taylor Pierce was 12-of-23 (.522) with a double, triple, eight RBI and two three-hit games. … Denison junior third baseman Julie Rooney hit .533 (16-of-30) with five runs, three doubles and four RBI. She had four hits in the first game of a twinbill at Wooster and a total of five multi-hit games for the week with 17 putouts, 11 assists, no errors and two double plays on defense. … Thomas More sophomore pitcher Mamee Salzer was 4-0 with a 0.64 ERA, two complete games and one shutout. She allowed two runs and 15 hits, had 13 strikeouts over 22 innings and pitched a three-hit shutout of Muskingum. … Cabrini freshman pitcher Kiley Sharp was 4-0 with a 0.27 ERA, four complete games, one run, 19 hits, three walks and 13 strikeouts in 26 innings. … Thomas More sophomore third baseman Ana Walter was 13-of-23 (.565) with five doubles and seven RBI. Five of her six games were multi-hit contests, including 4-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI in a win over Muskingum. … Hope junior first baseman Peyton Wells batted .556 (10-of-18) with five runs, three doubles, two homers and 10 RBI in a 6-0 week for the Flying Dutch. She handled all 54 chances on defense without an error. … Western Connecticut State junior third baseman Nina Wojtkiewicz was 10-of-16 (.625) with a double, triple, homer and two RBI. She hit for the cycle in a victory over UMass-Boston.
The Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division III National Player and Pitcher of the Week are selected by eight NCAA Division III head coaches representing the eight NCAA regions.
2014 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division III National Player of the Week
Feb. 26 — Ashley Garcia, Linfield College, Sr., 3B, Beaverton, Ore.
March 5 — Maggie Ingell, Washington (Mo.) University, Sr., OF, Winnetka, Ill.
March 12 — Hannah Sendel, Emory University, So., DP, Greenwood Village, Colo.
March 19 — Jessie Richardson, Coast Guard Academy, Jr., C, Kent., Wash.
March 26 — Hanna Contreras, Concordia (Texas) University, Fr., IF, Austin, Texas
April 2 — Megan Light, Emory University, Sr., 1B, Atlanta, Ga.
April 9 — Brenna Walek, University of St. Thomas, So., DP, Maple Grove, Minn.
April 16 — Jo Jablonski, Wisconsin-Whitewater, Jr., 3B, Palatine, Ill.
April 23 — Ashtyn Coleman, Wellesley, Fr., C, Scottsdale, Ariz.
April 30 — Tori Higginbotham, Virginia Wesleyan, Sr., OF, Glen Allen, Va.
2014 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division III National Pitcher of the Week
Feb. 26 — Rebekah Ragsdale, Mary Hardin-Baylor, Sr., P, Orange, Texas
March 5 — Shelby Parker, East Texas Baptist, Sr., P, Brazoria, Texas
March 12 — Rachel Johnson, Salisbury University, Jr., P, Preston, Md.
March 19 — Alex Hill, Montclair State, Sr. P, Parsippany, N.J.
March 26 —Hayley Schultz, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Jr., P, Los Angeles
April 2 — Emily Hardaway, Hardin-Simmons, Fr., P, Midland, Texas
April 9 — Rachel Johnson, Salisbury University, Jr., P, Preston, Md.
April 16 — Amber White, Bridgewater State, Sr., P, Middleboro, Mass.
April 23 — Makayla Jenkins, Christopher Newport, Fr., P, Gloucester, Va.
April 30 — Hannah Heacox, Gustavus Adolphus, Fr., P, Stillwater, Minn.