Texas' Blaire Luna named USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today the selection of Texas’ Blaire Luna (Austin, Texas) as the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week for the week of March 14-20. The right-hander fired off the first perfect game of her career against then-No. 4 Washington, giving the Huskies their first defeat of the season.
The sophomore posted a 3-0 record with three complete game shutouts. In her first start of the week, Luna fired a complete-game shutout with 11 strikeouts in the Longhorns’ 1-0 victory at Long Beach State, a team that received votes in this week’s ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll. Texas is currently ranked No 10, improving from No. 14 last week.
“Being named the USA Softball National Player of the Week is a great honor and I am very proud to earn this award for the Texas Softball program,” said Luna. “It would not be possible to win an award like this without our great offense, fantastic defense and the excellent pitch-calling and support of my catcher Amy Hooks. With such a great group of players around me it makes it easy to excel in the circle.”
Luna fired the first perfect game of her career against fourth-ranked and previously unbeaten Washington. Luna fanned nine in 5.0 innings of work as the Longhorns routed the Huskies, 12-0. The Washington lineup entered the game against Luna sporting a .406 team batting average.
In her third start of the week, Luna tossed a complete-game, one-hit shutout in Texas’s 5-0 win over Cal State Fullerton. She fanned 10 in the victory with the Titans only hit coming on a bunt single.
“This is a tremendous honor for Blaire. She has been working hard on her game during our early season tournaments and she certainly put it all together last week,” said Texas Head Coach Connie Clark. “Blaire and our team can use this confidence boost as a springboard heading into conference play.”
Luna posted a 0.00 ERA with 30 strikeouts, while allowing just nine base runners (five hits and four walks) in 19.0 innings of work. Luna helped the Horns to the Judi Garman Classic title and led all pitchers at the tourney with a 0.00 ERA and a .026 opponent batting average.
This is the first-time Player of the Week honor for Luna, who is also a member of the USA Softball Women’s National Team program. She accepted an invitation earlier this month to attend the 2011 USA Softball Women’s National Team Selection Camp in June in Chula Vista, Calif.
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 76 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 210,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than three million. For more information on the ASA, visit http://www.asasoftball.com/.
About USA Softball
USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links the USA Men’s, Women’s, Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ National Team programs together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of the only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won nine World Championship titles including the last seven consecutive as well as claimed four World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com/.