OKLAHOMA CITY — Stephany LaRosa of Diamond Bar, Calif. is the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week for April 9-15, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America announced today. LaRosa batted .571 for the week, with 12 RBI, three home runs and seven runs scored. The Bruin posted a 1.048 slugging percentage with a .600 on base percentage.
“It’s an unbelievable honor,” said LaRosa. “A lot of people say ‘oh, you’re a freshman and you’re doing so well’, but it’s the same game that I’ve been playing since I was younger. I’m out here with that mindset. Ultimately it’s how you prepare for the game. When you work hard and are dedicated, the outcome will come.”
LaRosa stood out over the course of the week, helping then-No 17 UCLA (29-12, 6-6 Pac-12) to a pair of Pac-12 series victories over then-No. 18 Stanford and then-No. 8 Washington. She began the week with an incredible doubleheader performance versus the Cardinal as she went 6-for-9 with nine RBI and three home runs. The freshman closed out the Stanford series with another two-hit effort, a walk and an RBI. Success continued through the weekend for the California native as she recorded hits in all three games against the Huskies, extending her hitting streak to a career-best seven.
UCLA Head Coach Kelly Inouye-Perez credits LaRosa’s success to her work ethic. “The expectations she has for herself are greater than anyone could ever have,” said Inouye-Perez. “It’s one thing to do well in 18-and-Under ball, but to come up here on this stage, work yourself into the top part of the lineup with a very experienced team and be able to execute the way that she has is impressive.”
LaRosa leads the Bruins in all three triple crown categories with a .442 batting average, 13 home runs and 51 RBI on the season. She is also first with a .812 slugging percentage and second with 35 runs scored. The freshman’s efforts this week helped her Bruins move up two spots in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll. This marks the first time this season that a freshman has been selected USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week and the first time a UCLA Bruin has garnered the award since Megan Langenfield received the honor in April of 2010.
2012 USA Softball Collegiate Players of the Week
Week 1 (Feb. 9-12): Valerie Arioto - California - Redshirt senior - Utility – Pleasanton, Calif.
Week 2 (Feb. 13-19): Christi Orgeron – ULL – Senior – Utility – New Orleans, La.
Week 3 (Feb. 20-26): Teagan Gerhart – Stanford – Junior – Pitcher – Norco, Calif.
Week 4 (Feb. 27-March 4): Jessica Cooley – Mississippi State – Junior – Outfielder – Birmingham, Ala.
Week 5 (March 5-11): Sara Nevins – South Florida – Sophomore – Pitcher - Pinellas Park, Fla.
Week 6 (March 12-18): Kaitlin Inglesby – Washington – Sophomore – Pitcher/Designated player – Portland, Ore.
Week 7 (March 19-25): Michelle Moultrie – Florida – Senior – Outfielder – Jacksonville, Fla.
Week 8 (March 26- April 1): Kirsten Verdun – DePaul – Sophomore – Pitcher/1B – Coal City, Ill
Week 9 (April 2-8, 2012): Ashley Fleming – Missouri – Senior – Outfielder – Silex, Mo.
Week 10 (April 9-15, 2012): Stephany LaRosa – UCLA – Freshman – Third Base – Diamond Bar, 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 200,000 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 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 five World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com/.