MUNCIE, Ind. - - For the third time this season, and second straight week, the Ball State softball team has swept the Mid-American Conference West Division weekly awards with sophomore second baseman Taylor Cox earning player of the week and freshman Nicole Steinbach picking up pitcher of the week.
Both players also swept the awards last week, giving Cox two player of the week honors this season and Steinbach three pitcher of the week awards so far in 2013.
In helping guide the Cardinals to a pair of wins last week, Cox continued her strong play from the leadoff spot in the lineup by hitting a team-best .800 (4-for-5) and drawing three walks for a .875 on base percentage. She also finished the week with three runs scored and an RBI.
In Ball State’s victory over Iowa (who received votes in both national polls and defeated No. 11 Louisville and No. 21 Kentucky last week) last Monday at the Louisville Classic, Cox went a perfect 3-for-3 and drove in the game-winning run with a RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning. She also drew a walk and scored two of the Cardinals’ runs in the 7-5 victory.
In the team’s 15-5 win over Marist in its only game at the Colorado State Spring Tournament last Friday, Cox went 1-for-2 with a pair of walks and a run scored.
Steinbach picked up her second save of the season last Monday when she limited Iowa to just one hit and an unearned run in 2.2 innings of work. She also struck out two batters in the game.
So far this season, the Cardinals have claimed five MAC West Division Player of the Week awards and four MAC West Division Pitcher of the Week honors. Ball State has had at least one award winner in each of the six weeks it has played, while sweeping the honors three times.
The Ball State softball team now turns its attention to league play with a Friday doubleheader at Bowling Green (1 p.m.) and single games at Toledo Saturday (2 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.).