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Fastpitch Alumni In The News! - April Updates

04/30/2014 9:54 AM -


Kendall Duffy:

PEORIA, Ill. -- Sophomore utility player Kendall Duffy (Naperville, Ill./Benet Academy) has been named one of 10 Missouri Valley Conference Leadership and Service Award spring recipients, according to an announcement by the league office Wednesday.

A sports communication major with a 3.53 cumulative grade point average, Duffy has been named to the Bradley Athletic Director’s Honor Roll each of her first three semesters on The Hilltop. She has assisted with Rally for Lily to help raise money for chemotherapy treatment for a child who has been diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a form of childhood cancer.

Duffy has also volunteered for Service on Saturday, a campus organization which volunteers for Peoria area causes each month. Her community service projects also include assisting at the Crittenton Centers’ annual Festival of Trees along with taking part in the Undy 5000 Colon Cancer Walk.

In addition, Duffy and her teammates helped clear debris in Washington, Ill., after last November’s devastating tornado. She is tied for the team lead with 14 RBI in Missouri Valley Conference play and has helped the Braves to a school record 14 conference victories this spring.

In order to be eligible for the award, the student-athlete must be in good academic standing, must demonstrate good citizenship through good sportsmanship and significant community service, and must participate in a sport, during the season of recognition. The Valley recognizes 10 student-athletes three times annually (fall, winter, spring), for a total of 30 honorees.

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Kelsey Gonzalez

Kelsey Gonzalez has been Southern's hottest hitter over the past few weeks, raising her season batting average to .330, which is second on the team. Gonzalez is currently riding a team-best five-game hitting streak, and she has eight multi-hit games, which is second on the team. Gonzalez has hit safely in 16 of the last 22 games and reached base in 19 of those 22 games, raising her batting average nearly 70 points from .262 to .330. In that 22-game stretch, Gonzalez has a team-best .382 batting average to go along with a .446 on-base percentage and .509 slugging percentage.


Kaitlyn Ranieri:

INDIANAPOLIS –Valparaiso sophomore right fielder Kaitlyn Ranieri (Schererville, Ind.) is the Horizon League softball Player of the Week, while Wright State senior Krystian DeWitt (Garden Grove, CA) is the Horizon League softball Pitcher of the Week for the week of April 7-13. This is the first League accolade for each player this spring.

Ranieri posted a .550 batting average, .800 slugging percentage and .571 on-base percentage over the five games against Northern Illinois and Cleveland State. In the double-header sweep of NIU, the sophomore went 4-for-8 at the plate and continued her hitting-streak over the weekend in conference play going 7-for-12 against the Vikings. She recorded multiple hits in each of the three games against Cleveland State and now has eight multi-hit games in 10 Horizon League competitions this year. The lead-off hitter went 11-for-20 overall with three runs, five runs batted in and a home run. Ranieri also hit two doubles, one of which was a walk-off in the series finale win over the Vikings.

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LaRi Mitchell:

EL PASO, Texas - Middle Tennessee (7-35, 2-14 C-USA) lost a pair of games to Conference USA foe UTEP (14-27, 7-8 C-USA), 5-3 and 13-2, Saturday.

Middle Tennessee tallied six hits in the doubleheader, with three (3-for-7) coming from leadoff hitter LaRi Mitchell. Laura Dukes and Kayla Toney each notched two and one hit, respectively. Dukes also tallied a double and a walk, her 29th of the season, and finished 2-for-5 with one RBI. Nina Dever accounted for the only other Blue Raider RBI.

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Mary Kate Connolly

NEW YORK - Mary Connolly and Kirsten Verdun both played starring roles in DePaul softball's 5-0 run last week and were named BIG EAST Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, on Monday.

It was the second time this season DePaul has been selected for both awards during the same week and comes in the midst of an 11-game winning streak that now has the Blue Demons 29-8 overall and 10-0 in conference play.

Both Verdun and Connolly were selected for their third weekly awards of the season.

Verdun was the winner in all five games last week, improving to 21-5 overall while holding a 0.86 ERA in her appearances. DePaul's senior ace logged 24.1 total innings, fanning 27 batters and holding her opponents to a .145 batting average. Her complete game shutout of Georgetown on Saturday was her 20th win of the season, marking the fourth straight year she has reached the 20-win plateau.

The Coal City, Ill. native was also a force at the plate, batting .462 for the week with a pair of homers and three RBI.

Connolly led the BIG EAST with an impressive .600 batting average last week. She went 9-for-15 at the plate and put together multi-hit performances in four games. The junior from Winfield, Ill. also extended her team-best hitting streak to 12 straight games, while blasting a pair of homers and adding five RBI.

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