March 11, 2009

SPARTAN SHINES: The University of Tampa continued its stellar start to the 2009 season behind the superb pitching of sophomore Deanna Henriott, who turned in a 4-0 record and a save for the Spartans last week.

The native of St. Petersburg, Fla., tossed a trio of complete-game shutouts, and picked up her first career no-hitter in a 6-0 victory versus American International with 14 strikeouts in the appearance. For the week, Henriott compiled a 0.22 ERA with 63 strikeouts in 31.2 innings pitched, earning Sunshine State Conference Pitcher of the Week honors. She has posted an 8-2 record and a 1.35 ERA for the season.

The Spartans have won 10 of their last 11 contests and are 3-0 in league play. DUFF STUFF: Midwestern State cracked the latest NFCA Division II Top 25 at No. 15 after a flawless 6-0 week, including a pair of victories over then-No. 18 Abilene Christian.

Freshman outfielder Nicki Duff sparked the Mustangs offensively, batting .600 with eight runs scored and six RBI to earn Lone Star Conference North Hitter of the Week honors. The native of Plano, Texas, hit safely in each of MSU's six contests, and registered four multiple-hit games for the week. Duff also belted three doubles and a triple, and stole four bases.

Duff continued her consistency at the plate in a doubleheader loss to Central Oklahoma, posting multiple hits in both contests and extending her hitting streak to nine games. She leads the Mustangs with a .455 batting average.

BEAR TRACKS: Lenoir-Rhyne University has won 12 of its last 13 games, including a 6-1 record last week, behind the top-notch pitching of senior right-hander Noel Belk. The Bears moved up to No. 18 in the latest national poll with their 15-2 start.

The native of Charlotte, N.C., began the week with 10 strikeouts in an 8-1 win over East Stroudsburg, and capped off the weekend with consecutive shutouts against USC Aiken and UNC Pembroke at the Francis Marion Patriot Invitational. Belk compiled a 4-0 record with a 0.50 ERA and 23 strikeouts for the week, earning South Atlantic Conference Pitcher of the Week honors. She improved to 9-0 on the season and leads the league with a 0.68 ERA.

SWEEPING THROUGH: Cal State Monterey Bay moved into a tie for first place in the California Collegiate Athletic Association standings with fourth-ranked Humboldt State after sweeping a six-game series against Cal State San Bernardino last weekend.

Junior outfielder Lucia Rodriguez earned her second CCAA Player of the Week nod after batting .474 with six runs scored, eight RBI, two doubles and three home runs in the series against the Coyotes. Rodriguez paces the CCAA with six home runs, 15 runs scored and 53 total bases.

OVER THE FENCES: Bemidji State senior Mara Johnson became the school's all-time leader in home runs after blasting three round-trippers during a 5-1 week for the Beavers.

The second baseman from Bemidji, Minn., batted .524 with 12 RBI and eight runs scored, and capped the week off with a 3-for-4 outing and four RBI, along with the record-breaking home run, in a win over Penn State Beaver on March 8. Johnson was tabbed Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Player of the Week for her achievements.

The Beavers are riding a five-game winning streak - their longest since the 1999 season.