KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Pittsburg State sophomore softball players Tiffany Brown and Jessica Barnes have earned MIAA Athlete of the Week honors. Brown was named the MIAA Hitter of the Week, while Barnes was named the MIAA Co-Pitcher of the Week.
Brown led the Gorillas last week in games against Missouri Southerm Lindenwood and Lincoln with a .591 batting average and a 1.182 slugging percentage as she helped the Gorillas to six consecutive road wins and 14 straight wins overall, the longest win streak for the Gorillas since 1993. For the week, Brown was13-for-22 with eight runs scored, eight RBIs, four doubles and a home run. The sophomore from Catoosa, Okla., had at least one hit in every game and multiple hits in five of the six games.
In game two against Lindenwood, Brown hit her 13th home run of the season, tying the school record set by Emily Gastineau in 2004. Seven of her 13 hits on the week were for extra bases. Brown hit two home runs and recorded three RBIs in the second game at Missouri Southern, and added three more RBIs in game two against Lindenwood. In the second game at Lincoln, Brown threw a three-hit shutout in the circle and helped her own cause at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs, a run and a double.
Brown is hitting .442 for the year, which is second among all players in the MIAA, and leads the Gorillas in hits, doubles, home runs and RBI. She also leads the MIAA in hits, home runs, RBI and total bases and is second in triples. This after only getting 24 at bats as a freshman last season.
Barnes, Pitt State's powerful left-handed hurler, finished the week with a 0.44 ERA and a 3-0 record after giving up only one earned run in 16 innings of work. The sophomore from Pawhuska, Okla., struck out five batters while only walking two. Of the 15 hits she gave up on the week, only two were for extra bases.
Against Lincoln, Barnes came in the game with the Gorillastrailing 3-2. She pitched five innings, giving up only four hits and shutting down the Blue Tigers' run production. Barnes also pitched five innings in relief against Missouri Southern, giving up only four hits and one run, which was not earned. She earned the win over Lindenwood in game two, starting the game and throwing six innings. Barnes gave up two runs, only one of which was earned, and struck out three batters.
Barnes has a 1.75 ERA and a 5-2 record on the season. Her ERA is the second lowest in the MIAA this season.
These are the second and third athlete of the week honors for the Gorillas this season and it is the second consecutive week a Pitt State player has earned hitter of the week honors, as senior Mannie DeCastro earned the honor last week.
Pitt State is currently 21-16 on the season and 8-0 in MIAA play. The Gorillas are currently second in the league standings, behind only Emporia State with a 14-0 conference record. Pitt State's .315 team batting average is second in the league, only bettered by Emporia State's .316 and the Gorilla pitchers' 3.20 ERA is third-best in the conference. A Pitt State hitter is either first or second in the league in nearly every offensive statistical category.
The Gorillas play three home doubleheaders this week, the first being Wednesday (April 4) against Missouri Southern beginning at 5 p.m.
Missouri Southern brings a 12-23 record, including a 4-4 record in MIAA play into a non-conference doubleheader on Wednesday, April 4. The Gorillas swept the Lions in their previous doubleheader on Mar. 28 (7-1, 7-2). As a team the Lions are hitting .286 with 48 doubles, seven triples, and six homers. Breanna Volkmann leads MSSU with a .392 average, with three doubles and two triples. Her eight stolen bases also lead the team. Lydia Niemegeers is second on the team with a .337 average and is tied for the lead with eight doubles. Brooke Hurley's three homeruns and 22 rbi leads the Lions. She is currently batting .305. Haley Pypes, Hannah Cooke and Kayce Moore handle the bulk of the pitching duties for Missouri Southern. Pypes leads the team with a 2.97 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 73.0 innings pitched.