Arizona’s Mowatt and Tulsa’s Lawrence Selected as Co-National Players of the Week
Oklahoma City, OK – For the second time this season, two players from two different conferences have been selected as the USA Softball Co-National Collegiate Players of the Week. Taryne Mowatt of the University of Arizona and Jackie Lawrence of the University of Tulsa share this weeks accolade for their accomplishments during the week of April 2-8 announced today by the Amateur Softball Association. Both players led their respective teams to pivotal sweeps against Conference foes this past week.
Mowatt pitched her best back-to-back games as a Wildcat, hurling a pair of shutouts against No. 9 Arizona State this past weekend. Mowatt opened the weekend on Friday by no-hitting the Sun Devils in a 1-0 Wildcat victory. She took a perfect game into the sixth inning, when it was broken up by a Wildcat throwing error. Aside from the defensive blemish and a seventh-inning walk, no other ASU batter reached base in her 11-strikeout performance. This was the fourth no-hitter of Mowatt’s career and second of the year. Previous no-hitters have come against UNLV and Cal State Northridge in 2006 and against Texas Tech earlier this season.
“She threw as well as we have seen her throw,” said Arizona Head Coach Mike Candrea. “She had great command of her pitches and great off speed pitches. She was huge for us this past weekend. To throw a no-hitter against such a great offensive team as Arizona State, who hits over .300, was key for us. “ASU’s Katie Burkhart is a good pitcher in her own right and it was a pitching duel. I am really proud of Taryne. She was as confident as I have seen her in an Arizona uniform and this win will hopefully be a step in the right direction for us.”
The junior from Corona, Calif., followed the no-hitter with a two-hit shutout on Saturday in front of a national audience on ESPN2. Once again, Mowatt made up for a lack of offensive support with some stifling pitching that resulted in 10 strikeouts without allowing a walk. She threw 14 shutout innings, allowing only two hits and one walk. She also limited the No. 9 Sun Devil offense, which entered the weekend averaging six runs a game and was hitting over .300 as a team, to a .045 batting average.
“I am incredibly honored that USA Softball has selected me for this award,” Mowatt said. “These were two critical wins for our program, and I was pleased with both my and our team’s ability to execute the game plan set forth by the coaching staff. We have to be ready mentally and physically to play every Pac-10 game, no matter the opponent. I think that these two wins demonstrate that we were able to do that this past weekend.”
Lawrence, a freshman from Indianapolis, Ind., made a huge contribution towards the success of the Tulsa program this past week after hitting an astounding .933 (14-for-15) with a 1.267 slugging percentage. She entered last week with only three hits on the season, but registered eight consecutive hits to begin the week. Her eight consecutive hits is tied for fourth in NCAA history and helped move Tulsa into third place in the Conference USA standings.
"I am still a little shocked by this, but it is wonderful to get any national award," said Lawrence. "I am thankful that Coach Bargfeldt had the confidence in me to put me back into the lineup. Every at-bat, I was just thinking 'we need to score this run, we need to score this run', it certainly seemed to help me. Once the momentum got rolling, it just kept rolling."
She led her team in hits, RBI, slugging percentage and on-base percentage as the Golden Hurricane went 5-0 last week with a series sweep of C-USA foe Memphis and a pair of wins over Central Arkansas. Lawrence added three doubles and a triple on the week, while registering at least two hits in all five contests. She led her team with 11 RBI, including four in game two against Central Arkansas. She ended the week with a new streak of six consecutive hits.
"Obviously this is a great honor for not only Jackie but our program," said Tulsa Head Coach John Bargfeldt. "It is a big credit for all her hard work this season to make it into the lineup as a freshman. It is also great to have national recognition for Jackie and our program here at Tulsa."
The native of Indiana also pitched 3.2 innings and did not give up a run, while striking out five batters.
This is the first-time Mowatt and Lawrence has been honored as the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week.