DENVER – Brigham Young’s Delaney Willard has been named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Hitter of the Week for April 23-29. This is the third honor of the season for Willard, a Collegiate Softball National Player of the Year finalist.
Hawai‘i’s Stephanie Ricketts have been named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week, the fifth of the season and 12th overall for the senior.
Willard, a senior right fielder from Camarillo, Calif., hit .444 with two doubles, a triple, a home run and 12 RBI as the Cougars went 5-0 on the week, including a series sweep of San Jose State. She had a hit in all five games to extend her hitting streak to 13 games, a career high and the longest by a BYU player this season. In the first game at Southern Utah, Willard had a single, a double and a triple. In game two vs. the Spartans, she hit the game-winning double, and in game three, she hit a three-run homer and had an RBI single. Willard currently has a streak of nine straight games with an RBI, totaling 19 in that time. She also has 76 RBI on the season, one shy of the WAC record.
Ricketts, a senior from San Jose, Calif., went 2-0 with 13 strikeouts against Fresno State as the Rainbow Wahine swept the series from the Bulldogs for the first time ever last week. She held Fresno State to a .125 average in 12 innings pitched. In the series finale, Ricketts fired her second no-hitter of the season and the sixth of her career. She faced just two batters over the minimum and did not allow a runner past second base. It was her 10th shutout of the season and the 33rd of her career, breaking the Hawai‘i school record. Ricketts is now the program’s career leader in wins (99), strikeouts (791), shutouts (33), innings pitched (897.0), appearances (157) and starts (135).
Other Hitter of the Week nominees included: Makani Duhaylonsod-Kaleimamahu of Hawai‘i hit .500 with a double, a home run and three RBI on the week ... Louisiana Tech’s Erin Kipp hit .429 with one double and one RBI last week ... Karley Hopkins of Nevada hit .412 with two home runs and three RBI ... New Mexico State’s Brittany Clifton hit .500 with three hits ... Breanna Lopez of San Jose State hit .583 with three homers ... Utah State’s Kelley Kaneshiro hit .357 with a double, a home run and three RBI on the week.
Other Pitcher of the Week nominees included: Tori Almond of Brigham Young went 4-0 with a 1.94 ERA and 21 strikeouts last week ... Nevada’s Karlyn Jones went 2-0 with a 0.50 ERA and nine strikeouts ... Sydney Williard of New Mexico State earned her first win of the season ... Utah State’s Shelbi Tyteca went 1-1 with a 1.12 ERA on the week.