MUNCIE, Ind. - - For her efforts in guiding the Ball State softball team to a 5-0 record last week, junior left fielder Jennifer Gilbert has been named the College Sports Madness National Field Player of the Week, as well as the Madness Mid-American Conference Softball Player of the Week.
“Jenny put together another unbelievable week for our team and is truly deserving of the College Sports Madness National Field Player of the Week award,” said Ball State head coach Craig Nicholson. “Jenny is a great hitter, especially in clutch situations, which she proved again this weekend with a pair of game-winning home runs, as well as a seventh-inning game-tying home run. She is completely locked in right now and driving the ball to all fields with a great amount of success.”
This is the first time in her career Gilbert has been named the College Sports Madness National Field Player of the Week. She has earned Madness MAC Softball Player of the Week accolades three times this season and five times over her career.
Over the team’s five games last week, Gilbert led the Ball State offense with a .588 (10-for-17) batting average, 16 RBI, eight runs scored, six home runs, a 1.647 slugging percentage and a .600 on base percentage. She also drew a pair of walks and added a sacrifice fly.
She opened the week with a pair of two-run home runs in the Cardinals’ 11-2 (5 inn.) victory over Butler last Tuesday. On Friday, she added three long balls in the team’s doubleheader sweep at Akron, starting with a two-run, game-winning blast in the first contest.
With the Cardinals trailing 6-4 and one out in the seventh inning of the nightcap against the Zips, Gilbert blasted a game-tying, two-run home run to help force extra innings. In the eighth inning, Gilbert would deposit her third career grand slam over the left field wall to give Ball State an 11-6 edge.
In Saturday’s series opener at Ohio, Gilbert blasted a three-run rocket over the right field wall to drive in what proved to be the game-winning runs in the 9-7 victory. In the series finale Sunday, Gilbert added a sacrifice fly, as well as a single to extend her current hitting streak to a season-high 10 games.
With her 16 total RBI last week, Gilbert raised her career total to 173 to become the Mid-American Conference’s career RBI leader. Her six home runs on the week raised her single-season total to 19, which is a Ball State record and ties the MAC single-season mark. She also became just the second player in MAC history to break the 50 home run plateau, raising her career total to 52.Gilbert enters Wednesday’s non-conference game at Ohio State, which starts at 6 p.m., ranked first in the Mid-American Conference in batting average (.500), slugging percentage (1.032), on base percentage (.570), runs scored (45), hits (63), RBI (58), home runs (19) and total bases (130). She is also third in the conference in doubles (10) and walks (23).