A dominant week in the circle has given sophomore Kelsey Stevens both national and conference honors, it was announced Tuesday.
Stevens has been named the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week and the co-Big 12 Pitcher of the Week after going 3-0 with a 1.17 earned run average and 28 strikeouts in 18.0 innings last week. She held opponents to just a .113 batting average in helping Oklahoma clinch a share of the 2014 Big 12 Championship.
To start the week, Stevens earned the victory in a 10-2, rule-win at Arkansas as she carried a no-hitter into the fourth inning. She allowed two hits with six strikeouts and two runs allowed on a two-run homer.
In the series opener against Texas Tech, Stevens tied a career high with 11 strikeouts and took a no-hitter into the sixth inning in a 5-0 win. She faced just two batters over the minimum before giving up a one-out single in the sixth inning. Four base runners reached based but not one reached second base. She allowed two hits and two walks as she threw her eighth shutout of the season.
Stevens followed that performance with another 11-strikeout outing the next day in a 5-1 victory. Her only mistake was a solo homer in the fifth, but Stevens walked none and allowed just three total hits. The win was her 31stof the season, tying for the most in the season with Florida State’s Lacey Waldrop.
In two games against the Red Raiders, Stevens struck out 22 and walked just two in 14 innings with an ERA of 0.50.
On the season, Stevens is 31-7 with a 1.97 ERA in 212.2 innings of work. She has struck out 217, walked 77 and allowed opponents to hit just .199 off of her while throwing eight shutouts.
Stevens is just the fourth Sooner to be the USA Softball Player of the Week, joining Mariee Mena (Feb. 27, 2007), Amber Flores (Feb. 10, 2009) and Keilani Ricketts, who did it twice in her career on Feb. 23, 2010 and Feb. 12, 2013.
Sharing the honor with Baylor’s Whitney Canion, Stevens’ Big 12 Pitcher of the Week award is her third this season. That ties Texas Tech’s Gretchen Aucoin for most in the league. Stevens was also recognized on April 9 and March 11.
Including Stevens, Oklahoma has won a total of seven weekly Big 12 awards this year as Destinee Martinez, Whitney Ellis, Kady Self and Shelby Pendley have all been named Big 12 Player of the Week. The seven selections for OU are the most of any Big 12 team.
Oklahoma closes out the regular season this weekend beginning Saturday at Oklahoma State at 1 p.m. The two teams then meet Sunday in Norman at 2 p.m.