EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) -University of Southern Indiana junior pitcher Jennifer Leonhardt (Louisville, Kentucky) has been named the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division II National Pitcher of the Week in an announcement by National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association Wednesday afternoon for her efforts in the Screaming Eagles 6-0 record last week.
Leonhardt, who becomes the first player in program history to earn NFCA Pitcher or Player of the Week accolades, went 3-0 with two saves, a 0.00 ERA, a .152 opponent batting average and 37 strikeouts. She had three complete-game shutouts, each of which she posted double-digit strikeout marks, including a 12-strikeout effort in USI’s 1-0 Great Lakes Valley Conference road win over Rockhurst University.
She also got the job done at the plate, hitting .500 for the week with four doubles, four runs scored and a team-high five RBIs.
On the season, Leonhardt is 16-4 with four saves, a 1.20 ERA, a .176 opponent batting average and 166 strikeouts. She leads the GLVC in wins, saves, ERA, opponent batting average and strikeouts.
Leonhardt, a biology major at USI, is just nine strikeouts shy of breaking Brooke Harmening’s all-time school record for career strikeouts (642) and is three wins shy of tying Harmening for first all-time at USI with 74 career wins.
Her efforts have helped propel the Eagles back into the NFCA Top 25 as USI was ranked No. 25 in the latest poll. USI is one of two GLVC teams in this week’s Top 25, with the University of Indianapolis moving up a spot to No. 16. Grand Valley State University (No. 6) was the only other team from the Midwest Region team represented in this week’s poll, while Ohio Dominican University was receiving votes.
For the fourth straight week, pending expected approval from the conference office, the Eagles’ weekend slate will be altered due to the forecast of rain. USI’s GLVC doubleheader with Drury University is expected to be moved from Sunday to Friday, with the first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. at the USI Softball Field.
The Eagles will move their Senior Day festivities to Saturday when they host Missouri University of Science & Technology in a noon doubleheader. USI will honor its seniors—catcher Lindsey Barr (Whitesville, Kentucky), outfielder/pitcher Caitlyn Bradley (Forest, Indiana), second baseman Claire Johnson (Pittsboro, Indiana) and pitcher Haylee Smith (Florence, Kentucky)—following Saturday’s games.
Courtesy: USI Atheltics