Hannah Roberts named Division III Player of the Week
After a rookie season in which she led the Maroons pitching staff with a 14-3 record and 0.61 ERA, second-year Hannah Roberts has continued surpassing already high expectations. Following a week that included four shutouts and 31.1 consecutive scoreless innings pitched, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association named Roberts the NCAA Division III Player of the Week.
"Although I was excited to be recognized for my accomplishments on the mound, I am more focused on the tougher games that we have ahead of us," Roberts said. "I care more about our team record and how we are getting ready for postseason than I do about awards. Nonetheless I am happy to have the respect of the softball community and hope my performance continues in games to come."
Her biggest win last week, and perhaps this year, was a two-hit shutout against 10th-ranked Illinois Wesleyan University on April 4. She had two games with double-digit strikeout totals, fanning 12 against Hope College on Monday and 10 against University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh on Saturday.
On the year, Roberts has pitched her way to a spectacular 10-1 record and 0.19 ERA. She has given up only 2 earned runs in 72.2 innings pitched.
"Any reward I receive is largely a reflection of my teammates," Roberts said. "I can't give my catcher, second-year Randi Leppla, enough credit. She has done a great job behind the plate all year, and she is one of the reasons I have been able to improve and dominate many batters this year."
Roberts takes the hill again on Friday, April 8 when the Maroons host University of Wisconsin-Whitewater at 2:30 P.M.
Offense dominates again for baseball, bullpen seals victory
The Maroons came back from a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth to win their seventh straight game on Wednesday. The 15-7 victory over Robert Morris (15-5) gave baseball a much needed quality win that raised their record to 13-6 this season.
Chicago's offensive onslaught began in the top of the second when the Eagles' starting pitcher hit third-year catcher T.J. Rajcevich with a fastball to load the bases. Third-year outfielder Frank Brown followed with a single to left that scored two runs to tie the game at two. Fourth-year designated hitter Tracie Neubrand followed with an RBI single that gave the Maroons a 3-2 lead.
A four-run third inning gave Chicago an 8-2 lead that it would maintain until the bottom of the sixth when third-year starting pitcher Matt Altomare began to tire. After giving up an RBI single that whittled the lead to five, Altomare (4-1) missed his spot and Robert Morris' right-fielder hit a homer to dead left field, elevating the score to 8-7.
First-year reliever Brian Olson came in with two outs in the bottom of the sixth and cruised the rest of the way. Backed by a solid defense, Olson used good movement to induce five groundball outs and strike out four in 3.1 IP. The batters batted around in the top of the eighth to give them the eight run cushion with which they would win.
"Throughout the outing I felt really relaxed, I was able to get a good rhythm right from the start. I was able to spot my fastball really well, and I was getting my off-speed pitches over consistently," Olson said. "It seems like all of my outings have been getting better and better. Having a solid outing yesterday not only gives me more confidence, but it also gives more confidence to my teammates because they know that I can come in and get the job done."
The Maroons will need continued dominance by their relievers if they are to have success in the upcoming part of their schedule. They have a game at Illinois Tech on Friday and come back home for a doubleheader against Concordia.
Women's lacrosse hosts tournament on Midway
The University of Chicago Lax Playday will be hosted by the women's lacrosse club team on Saturday at the Midway. Their three games will be against Northwestern University at 9 A.M., Purdue at 10 A.M., and Washington University of St. Louis at 1 P.M. All games will take place on the Midway fields in front of International House.
Led by third-year midfielder Erin Cunningham, the team is 1-1 on the season after splitting at the Knox College tournament last week.