LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Northwest Missouri State senior Stephanie Mark and Valdosta State junior Caitlyn Calhoun were named the Louisville/Slugger NFCA Division II National Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively for games played over March 2-8. For Calhoun, it was her second honor this season.
Mark, a native of Ogden, Utah, had a big weekend on the road in Oklahoma. In four games, the first baseman batted .750 (12-16) with four home runs and 12 RBI. She opened the weekend with a pair of four-hit games at then-No. 18 Central Oklahoma. In the opener, Mark was 4-for-5 with a grand slam, five RBI and three runs scored and followed that performance, going 4-for-4 with a pair of long balls, three RBI and two runs.
“I am very happy for Steph,” said head coach Ryan Anderson. “She is someone that always wants to get better and it shows in her work ethic. Last weekend it’s like she was on a different level. It was fun to watch.”
Mark closed out the week with a 4-for-7 doubleheader effort at Northeastern Oklahoma in which she posted one three-hit contest, launched her fourth home run of the weekend, knocked in four runs and scored three. For the weekend, the senior slugged 1.500 and recorded a .764 on base percentage.
Garnering her second award of the year, Calhoun was almost unhittable in her three outings last week and helped the second-ranked Blazers move to the top of the Gulf South Conference standings. The junior righty twirled three complete-game shutouts, including a no-hitter, her second of the season, against Florida Southern. Against the Mocs, Calhoun struck out 12 and faced the minimum. After opening the game with a walk, that runner was erased on a caught stealing and she went on to retire the last 20 batters in order.
“It is amazing to receive this award again, but I’ve only made it this far because of my amazing team,” said Calhoun. “I know that when a ball is hit, my defense is going to do everything in their power to get the outs. It takes the pressure off of me so that I can just go out to the circle and have fun with my teammates. I have a small defensive role, but my team should get equal credit for everything they do in the field as well as at the plate.”
Her dominance continued into the weekend in a key Gulf South series against first-place and then-No. 22 North Alabama. Calhoun, a native of Hamilton, Ohio, tossed a pair of two-hit shutouts in which she did not walk a batter and struck out five and nine batters, respectively. She finished the week striking out 26 and walking just one, while surrendering four hits in 21 innings and holding opponents to a miniscule .074 batting average
Player of the Week
March 11 – Stephanie Mark (Northwest Missouri State)
March 4 – Jayne MacDonald (Cal State East Bay)
Feb. 25 – Ashley Walker (Winona State)
Feb. 18 – Nicole Nobbe (Cal State San Bernardino)
Pitcher of the Week
March 11 – Caitlyn Calhoun (Valdosta State)
March 4 – Courtney Poole (North Georgia)
Feb. 25 – Shea Coats (Oklahoma Christian)
Feb. 18 – Caitlyn Calhoun (Valdosta State)
Selected Top Performances
Indianapolis’ Morgan Foley was tabbed GLVC Pitcher of the Week after going 4-0 with a 1.31 ERA, 41 strikeouts and a save in 21.1 innings of work… Taylor Menhart of Ashland collected GLIAC Player of the Week honors after batting .500 (18-36) with a double, three triples, three home runs, 16 RBI and 14 runs scored over a 12-game span last week… GAC Pitcher of the Week, Southern Nazarene’s Kayla Wyatt tossed a one-hit shutout and finished the week striking out 29 batters in just 14.1 innings… Northern Sun Player of the Week, Eryn Yancy of Northern State belted five home runs, including a grand slam, batted .478 with 10 RBI and six runs scored… Nicole Nordie of Texas Woman’s batted .750 (9-12) with a double, four home runs and 10 RBI on her way to Lone Star Player of the Week accolades… Kelly Franks of St. Cloud State tossed a no-hitter and finished 2-0 with 18 strikeouts to garner Northern Sun Pitcher of the Week honors… California Baptist’s Tayler Castro was named PacWest Co-Player of the Week following a 7-or-10 (.700) effort with 2 doubles, two home runs and 15 RBI, including a school record eight at Chaminade (3/7)… Francis Marion’s Katie Carnes was selected Peach Belt Pitcher of the Week after sporting a 2-0 record with a 0.00 ERA and a .116 batting average against… Heartland Pitcher of the Week, Sarah Debrow of St. Edward’s, went 2-0 with a pair of complete-game victories over Oklahoma Christian in which she tossed a total of 17 innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out eight… Autumn Parrish of Armstrong State was selected Peach Belt Player of the Week after batting .800 (8-10) with a double, three home runs and eight RBI… RMAC Player of the Week, Colorado Christian’s Sarah Rasmussen batted .462 (6-13) and slugged 1.308 as she tallied two doubles, three home runs, 13 RBI and six runs scored… Madison Hernandez of Azuza Pacific garnered PacWest Co-Player of the Week accolades by batting .600 (9-15) with five extra-base hits, 13 RBI and six runs scored… North Georgia’s Kim McMillan batted .571 with five home runs and 14 RBI, along with a .727 OBP and 1.714 slugging percentage… In two games, Cameron’s Lauren Renneker homered three times in five at bats, knocked in five and scored four runs… Ciera Clark of Felician batted .533 (8-15 with a double, four home runs and 12 RBI… North Georgia’s Courtney Poole earned four wins, posted a 0.28 ERA with 31 strikeouts and one walk in 25 innings.