SEATTLE – Senior pitcher Bryana Walker was named Louisville Slugger/NFCA National Player of the Week, the organization announced Tuesday. Walker posted a 4-0 record with a 0.33 ERA and 30 strikeouts over 21.0 innings pitched, as the No. 2 Huskies went 5-0 at the Littlewood Classic in Tempe, Ariz. this past weekend.
Walker is the third Husky to receive this honor since 2009, joining three-time honoree Danielle (Lawrie) Locke and teammate Kaitlin Inglesby. Lawrie (Locke) won the award twice in 2010 and once in 2009, while Inglesby was honored on Feb. 14, 2012.
Walker made four consecutive starts at the Littlewood Classic and picked up victories in each appearance, including a career-high 14-strikeout performance in defeating then-No. 7 Oklahoma, 3-1, on Sunday.
“It's an honor to have our student athletes and our program recognized by the NFCA,” head coach Heather Tarr said. “Bryana and our pitching staff put together some dominant performances for us this weekend. The cool thing is we are still growing as a team. We are proud to be off to a good start, but we are even more excited about what's next.”
Walker picked up her first win of the weekend in a 18-1 win over San Jose State on Friday, allowing just two hits in 5.0 innings. In a 17-0 victory over Southern Illinois University Edwardsville on Saturday, Walker came within one out of a no-hitter and ended up allowing just one hit in 5.0 innings pitched with seven strikeouts. Walker has two career no-hitters.
After shutting out SIUE, Walker returned to the circle just 30 minutes later to pitch the second game of a doubleheader vs. Michigan State. Walker nearly duplicated her earlier effort, allowing just one hit in 4.0 shutout innings against the Spartans, as the Huskies won, 8-0.
But Walker turned in perhaps her best performance of the weekend against 2013 National Champions and then-No. 7 Oklahoma on Sunday. The native of La Quinta, Calif. led the Huskies to a 3-1 win, holding the Sooners to just three hits and one run over 7.0 innings while striking out a career-high 14 batters.
“It’s a huge honor to be recognized by the NFCA,” Walker said. “Our team had a great performance this week. To be recognized is just a testament to how well the team did. We come to compete every day. It’s a testament to how strong we are as a team and how strong we can be if we keep working hard.”
Walker is the second Husky to receive a national player of the week honor already this season. Kylee Lahners was named USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week last week after batting .400 with three home runs and 13 RBI in the Huskies opening weekend.
Lahners put up nearly identical numbers this weekend, and was named PAC-12 Player of the Week for her efforts, the conference announced Tuesday. Lahners hit .643 with two doubles, three home runs, and 13 RBI at the Littlewood Classic. This is the first Pac-12 Player of the Week honor for Lahners.
“To be recognized as the PAC-12 Player of the Week is such an honor,” Lahners said. “I’m very blessed to be given the opportunity to play the sport I love at such a high level.”
The native of Laguna Hills, Calif. leads the Huskies in home runs (6) and RBI (26), and is second on the team with a .517 batting average.
Lahners went 1-for-2, with two runs scored, one home run, and two RBI in a 9-1 win over Illinois State on Friday. Lahners bolstered her team-leading RBI numbers in an 18-1 win over San Jose State on Friday, as she went 3-for-3, with two runs scored, two doubles, and four RBI.
In a 17-1 win against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville on Saturday, Lahners posted a career-high six RBI to go along with four hits, including a home run. Lahners hit her sixth home run of the season in a 3-1 win over then-No. 7 Oklahoma on Sunday.
“Kylee has put together two nice weekends,” Tarr said. “The cool thing is we are just getting started.”