Oregon pitcher Cheridan Hawkins earns USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week honors

By Steven Embree | March 04, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oregon Ducks  improved their record to 18-2 over the weekend at the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic in Orlando, Fla. thanks in part to pitcher Cheridan Hawkins (Anderson, Calif.). The sophomore pitched the Ducks to three shutout wins and entered in relief  to take No. 1 Florida to eight innings before falling 2-1. Through 24 innings in the circle, Hawkins gave up just one run (unearned) and struck out 49 batters, averaging just over two Ks per inning. For her efforts, Hawkins has been named the USA Softball Collegiate National Player of the Week the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today.

"This is a great honor for not only Cheridan but for the Oregon softball program," said head coach Mike White. "I know she will be the first to credit others on her team - she is that type of person and teammate. A true competitor who settles for nothing less than her best effort every time she toes the rubber."

Hawkins was 3-1 on the week with a perfect 0.00 ERA, 49 strikeouts and just five walks in 24 total innings in the circle helping the Ducks move up from No. 6 to No. 5 in this weeks ESPN.com/USA Softball College Top 25 poll. On Friday, facing an Auburn squad with just two losses on the season, Hawkins struck out 12 batters and allowed just three hits to shut out a Southeastern Conference (SEC) team that was averaging nine runs per game.  Friday evening, with the Ducks clinging to a 1-1 tie with the No. 1 Florida Gators, Hawkins was called on to pitch three innings of relief. The Sophomore rang up five of the first six batters she faced before allowing the game-winning run in the eighth.

On Saturday in her second start of the week, Hawkins went the distance, tossing seven scoreless innings, scattering three hits with 16 strike outs in the 2-0 Oregon win. It was the fifth shutout for Hawkins and the seventh complete game of the year for the lefty. Hawkins rung up 16 batters for the second time in as many days on Sunday as Oregon defeated Illinois State 2-0 to close out the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic.

With the three wins, Cheridan improved her yearly record to 10-2 and now holds a 1.00 ERA with eight complete games and six shutouts. This is the first USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week honor for Hawkins and the first for an Oregon Duck since Jessica Moore earned the award in Week 13 of the 2013 season. The Ducks return to action this week, March 12-15, at the Rainbow Wahine Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii.

 2014 USA Softball National Collegiate Players of the Week

Week 1 (Feb. 6-9): Kylee Lahners - Washington - Junior - Infielder– Laguna Hills, Calif.

Week 2 (Feb. 10 -16): Aimee Creger - Tulsa - Senior - Pitcher– Yukon, Okla.

Week 3 (Feb. 17-23): Ally Carda – UCLA – Junior – Pitcher – Elk Grove, Calif.

Week 4 (Feb. 24 – March 2): Cheridan Hawkins – Oregon – Sophomore – Anderson, Calif.