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Georgia’s Wilkinson Repeats as the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I National Player of the Week
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – There were many deserving, high-profile performances throughout the country this past weekend, but the effort provided by Georgia’s Chelsea Wilkinson again couldn’t be overlooked as the sophomore pitcher has been selected as the final Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I National Player of the Week of the 2014 regular season.
Just a week after reaping the NFCA weekly honor by virtue of an outstanding performance during a series against nationally ranked Kentucky, Wilkinson continued her impressive roll from the circle by guiding the Bulldogs to their first Southeastern Conference Championship title. Named the event’s Most Valuable Player, the Taylorsville, N.C., native registered a 3-0 mark with a 1.07 ERA and 23 strikeouts over 19.2 innings of work with victories over No. 5 Florida, No. 6 Alabama and No. 16 Kentucky. She set the tone for UGA during a quarterfinal match-up against the Gators, allowing just two hits and striking out nine in a 2-0, complete-game shutout. Summoned into the semifinal match-up in relief against the regular season champ Crimson Tide, Wilkinson permitted just a single earned run on four hits and K’ed five as the ‘Dogs prevailed 5-3. She again went the distance against the Wildcats in the SEC title tilt, granting a pair of earned tallies on just three hits with nine strikeouts as UGA completed its championship run via a 5-2 triumph. Overall, Wilkinson holds an impressive 29-7 record for the year with a 2.04 ERA, six solo shutouts, 23 complete games and 257 K’s over 219.1 innings of work.
"This is such an incredible honor, not just for me, but for my team,” Wilkinson said. “Winning the SEC Tournament was a reflection of how hard this team worked every day during the offseason, in practice and throughout the season. It is a blessing to be able to play for Georgia and being a part of such an incredible team."
"I am so proud of Chelsea, and I can't say enough about her,” Georgia head coach Lu Harris-Champer said. “She showed so much fight and grit for her team and is a true competitor for her team in the circle. She knew the game plan every day and went out there and executed it, knowing that her defense was there to back her up. She helped us make history by pitching us to an SEC Tournament Title, and I couldn't be more proud of her."
Wilkinson and the No. 4-national seeded Bulldogs will christen their NCAA tournament run by facing Chattanooga on Fri., May 16, as part of Athens Regional action at the UGA Softball Stadium in Athens, Ga.
Selected Top Performances
Ohio University’s Savannah Jo Dorsey, the MAC Tournament Most Valuable Player, went 4-0 overall with three straight shutouts, including a perfect game versus Ball State, and 46 strikeouts…Kentucky’s Kelsey Nunley was 3-0 at the SEC Championship, posting victories over Mississippi State, No. 7 Tennessee and No. 25 LSU, with 17 strikeouts over 25 innings…Atlantic Sun Tournament MVP Meredith Owen of Stetson was 4-0 with a 0.50 ERA and 24 K’s over 28 frames while leading her squad to its first league title since 2007…Cal Poly’s Sierra Hyland posted a 0.00 ERA over 19.1 innings, walking just three while earning a pair of triumphs over UC Riverside during the final series of the year…North Dakota State’s Krista Menke was selected as the Most Valuable Player of The Summit League Championship after going 5-1 with 49 K’s over 36 innings of work…Louisville’s Katie Keller was tabbed as the American Athletic Conference’s Most Outstanding Player after going 5-for-5 at the dish with three HR’s, a triple and six RBIs as the Cardinals secured the event crown…Green Bay’s Ashley Nannemann was 3-0 with a 0.41 ERA over 17 frames on the way to reaping Horizon League Tournament MVP and Top Pitcher accolades…James Madison’s Jailyn Ford helped her squad to the Colonial Athletic Association title by posting a 2-0 mark from the circle with a 0.47 ERA and 13 strikeouts over 15 innings against Towson and Hofstra…DePaul’s Kirsten Verdun was 2-0 with a 0.54 ERA and 19 strikeouts as the Blue Demons won the BIG EAST championship…Pac-12 Conference Player of the Week Dani Gilmore of Oregon State hit .500 (5-for-10) with a grand slam and six RBIs against Stanford…San Diego State’s Danielle O’Toole was selected as the Mountain West Pitcher of the Week after winning all three of her starts with a 0.32 ERA and 11 K’s over 22 innings to clinch a third straight league championship…Southern Utah’s Kadi Henderson blasted a staggering five HR’s and knocked in nine tallies to reap Big Sky Tournament MVP honors…Florida State’s Maddie O’Brien helped the Seminoles to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship by batting .500 with three HR’s and six RBIs…Minnesota’s Kaitlyn Richardson was chosen as the Big Ten Conference Tournament MVP after hitting .857 (6-for-7) with four extra-base hits and a trio of RBIs as the Gophers won the title…Fresno State’s Brenna Moss batted at a .667 clip (8-for-12) with four runs scored and five stolen bases against Nevada…Washington’s Kylee Lahners hit .364 with a pair of HR’s and six RBIs during UW’s sweep of California…Jackie Reed of St. John’s registered four extra-base hits and went 6-for-7 at the dish against Georgetown to help her squad earn its second-ever BIG EAST Championship appearance.
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.
April 1 – Cheridan Hawkins – Oregon – So. – P – Anderson, Calif.
April 8 – Katiyana Mauga – Arizona – Fr. – 3B – San Diego, Calif.
April 15 – Michelle Mueller – Wisconsin – Sr. – IF – La Crosse, Wis.
April 22 – Stephanie Tofft – Florida – Sr. – 3B – Lincoln, Calif.
April 29 – Tori Finucane – Missouri – Fr. – P – Germantown, Md.
May 6 – Chelsea Wilkinson – Georgia – So. – P – Taylorsville, N.C.
May 13 – Chelsea Wilkinson – Georgia – So. – P – Taylorsville, N.C.