Photo Courtesy of Horizon League
INDIANAPOLIS –Valparaiso sophomore right fielder Kaitlyn Ranieri (Schererville, Ind.) is the Horizon League softball Player of the Week, while Wright State senior Krystian DeWitt (Garden Grove, CA) is the Horizon League softball Pitcher of the Week for the week of April 7-13. This is the first League accolade for each player this spring.
Valparaiso went 4-1 last week in a mid-week series against Northern Illinois and three-game series versus Cleveland State. The Crusaders won both games of the double-header over NIU with an 8-6 victory in the first and went eight innings in the second to win 4-3. Over the weekend, the Crusaders lost their first match up against Cleveland State 3-2 but won the next two games 6-4 and went an extra inning in the series finale to win 7-6. Valparaiso is currently 15-24 overall and improved to 7-3 in the Horizon League.
Ranieri posted a .550 batting average, .800 slugging percentage and .571 on-base percentage over the five games against Northern Illinois and Cleveland State. In the double-header sweep of NIU, the sophomore went 4-for-8 at the plate and continued her hitting-streak over the weekend in conference play going 7-for-12 against the Vikings. She recorded multiple hits in each of the three games against Cleveland State and now has eight multi-hit games in 10 Horizon League competitions this year. The lead-off hitter went 11-for-20 overall with three runs, five runs batted in and a home run. Ranieri also hit two doubles, one of which was a walk-off in the series finale win over the Vikings.
Wright State went 3-2 on the week with mid-week road losses at Kentucky and Dayton before sweeping Detroit in a three-game conference series. Against the Titans, the Raiders won the first game 6-0, second game 10-1 and series finale 9-8. The team’s record now stands at 10-25 overall and 6-4 in Horizon League competition.
DeWitt made four appearances throughout the week while starting two games. The senior held a record of 2-1, pitching 15.0 innings with a 3.27 earned run average. She tied a career high of 11 strikeouts in the Detroit series opener, holding the Titans to six hits in the shutout victory. Also in game one versus Detroit, the right-hander set the school record for career strikeouts and currently has 587. DeWitt continued to dominate on the mound when she set another school record on Sunday when she posted her 50th career victory. Overall for the week, she held batters to a .324 batting-against average while fanning 20 batters.
Valparaiso takes the field again on Friday, April 18 as it hosts Oakland in game one of a three-game series with the Grizzlies. Wright State takes on non-league opponents Ohio State and Marshall in mid-week competition before traveling north to play Youngstown State in a three-game series beginning Friday.
Softball Player of the Week:
Feb. 3: Erika Polidori, Oakland
Feb. 10: Amanda Wisniewski, Valparaiso
Feb. 17: Miranda Castiglione, Youngstown State
Feb. 24: Marissa Michalkiewicz, Green Bay
March 3: Cynthia Woodard, Cleveland State
March 10: Laura Swan, UIC
March 17: Jess Gorman, Wright State
March 24: Erica McNew, Cleveland State
March 31: Natalie Hernandez, UIC
April 7: Kaitlyn Ranieri, Valparaiso
Softball Pitcher of the Week:
Feb. 3: Susan Knight, Cleveland State
Feb. 10: Bridget Boyle, UIC
Feb. 17: Casey Crozier, Youngstown State
Feb. 24: Kaley Waalkes, Oakland
March 3: Sara Shields, Cleveland State
March 10: Casey Crozier, Youngstown State
March 17: Montana Wear, Wright State
March 24: Alex Radjen, Cleveland State
March 31: Alex Radjen, Cleveland State
April 7: Krystian DeWitt, Wright State