LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Abby Sulte of Valdosta State and Maxine Valdez of Lubbock Christian were named 2023 Division II Louisville Slugger/NFCA Player and Wilson/NFCA Pitcher of the Week, respectively. The duo was recognized for their outstanding performances March 6-12.
Sulte keyed No. 10 Valdosta State's 5-1 week against Barry, No. 3 Tampa and West Georgia. She hit .643 (9-for-14), clubbing five home runs, recording nine RBI and scoring seven times. Sulte slugged 1.714 and reached base at a .783 clip, drawing nine walks. The sophomore from St. Petersburg, Fla. left the yard twice in victories over Barry and Tampa. She belted the game-tying homer in a 5-4 win over Barry, while her two homers against the third-ranked Spartans led the Blazers to an 8-7 victory.
Valdez posted a 2-0 mark with a 0.00 ERA and one save. She twirled a pair of shutouts and struck out 19 to just two walks over 13 innings of work. Valdez allowed just five hits and held opponents to a 1-for-13 showing with runners on base. The senior righty blanked Eastern New Mexico on two hits with 12 punchouts. Valdez also tossed a three-hit shutout in a five-inning win over Texas A&M University-Kingsville. She capped off her week with a scoreless seventh to earn the save in the decisive game in a Lone Star Conference series win against the Javelinas.
The Division II weekly awards are voted on by the NFCA Division II Top 25 Committee.
Selected Top Performances
Maddie Hool, Wayne State University - .571, 2B, 4 RBI, 3 multi-hit contests, Mahaliyah Sandridge, Embry-Riddle - .409, 3B, 6 R, 6 RBI, 4 SB, GW RBI; Alyssa Stitt, PennWest Clarion - .562, 9 H, 4 2B, 6 RBI, 6 R, SB, .812 SLG; Kaitlyn Stufft, Georgian Court - .600, 2B, 3 RBI, .800 SLG, 1.000 FLD; Keaolani Takamura, Chaminade - .591, 2B, 2 3B, 5 RBI, .609 OBP, 1.427 OPS, school record with hit in seven consecutive at bats; Jaeda Cabunoc, Chaminade – 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 SHO, 16 IP, currently on school-record 17-inning scoreless streak; Emma Frost, Lincoln Memorial – perfect game at Tusculum (5 K, 68 pitches); Emma Hipps, PennWest Clarion – 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 SHO, 19 K, 5 H, 14 IP; Alyssa LeBlanc, Texas Woman’s – Lone Star Conference & program-record 23 strikeouts (9 inn.) vs. Angelo State.
Celebrating 40 years in 2023, the NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association) is the professional organization for fastpitch softball coaches. Known for its highly-regarded Louisville Slugger/Player & Wilson/Pitcher of the Week awards, the NFCA also educates and supports softball coaches on a variety of different levels: from webinars to legal counsel, to in-person events and the National Convention.
NFCA Division II Softball Player and Pitcher of the Week