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GAC Report: League names softball weekly awards

by Felisha Butler | March 4, 2021 at 4:00 a.m.

The Great American Conference named Southern Nazarene third baseman Caitlyn Curlee as Player of the Week with Northwestern Oklahoma State right-hander Hannah Powell securing Pitcher of the Week.

Curlee went 7-for-10 in the triple game series sweep of HSU while recording several hits in the matchups, stretching her streak to 10. Curlee picked up her second home run of the season in the series finale, and Southern Nazarene outscored HSU, 28-6.

Howell had three wins in the previous week with 5 2/3 scoreless innings of work with eight strikeouts over Sterling. Against UAM, Howell allowed only a single run in 14 innings of play and marked 14 strikeouts while going 7-for-14 with three multi-hit games.

Ouachita Baptist utility player Heather Brown, NWOSU center fielder Lindsey McElroy and Arkansas Tech designated player Caitlin Wells were also nominated for the player award. Arkansas Tech right-handee Shannon Lasey, OBU right-hander Madison Miller and Southern Nazarene right-hander Brooklyn Sparkman were also considered the pitching award.

GAC names weekly baseball players

The GAC named Harding third baseman David Butterfield Player of the Week while Arkansas Tech starting pitcher Patrick Miner picked up the Pitcher of the Week accolade.

Butterfield led the Bison to four wins to kick off the season as Harding scored 38 runs. While garnering 11 hits in 17 at bats with five doubles and a home run, Butterfield also drove in three runs, scoring six times while stealing a set of bases, yielding a .684 on-base percentage with a 1.118 slugging percentage.

Miner guided Arkansas Tech in its season opener to a 9-1 win over East Central Friday. During 7 innings of play, he scattered three hits while limiting East Central to just one run and recorded a career-high nine strikeouts.

Other player nominations consisted of Arkansas Tech first baseman Jonathon Arrieta, Oklahoma Baptist infielder Kaimana Bartolome, HSU shortstop Joe Myers, NWOSU infielder Marques Paige, and SAU first baseman Josh Walker. NWOSU starting pitcher Scott Creedon, HSU starting pitcher Austin Cross, Oklahoma Baptist starting pitcher Bo Dallas and SAU relief pitcher Matt Kortendick were also nominated the pitching award.

GAC adjusts basketball championship bracket

The HSU women's basketball team's season came to an end Wednesday without taking the floor as the Reddies went into COVID-19 protocols. The teams closes out their season on a 7-6 overall record and 7-5 in GAC play.

"I am beyond heartbroken for our women's basketball program, our coaches and our student-athletes," said HSU athletic director Shawn Jones in a news release. "To have such a promising season come to an end like this is gut-wrenching. Our women's team battled through the protocols of the season, won six of its last seven games and fought to earn a bye in the conference tournament. They deserved the opportunity to play for a GAC title. I cannot begin to express how proud I am of coach Thomas and our team for the way they have responded to adversity this season. Although this hurts and will continue to for some time, we are all incredibly excited to see this young and promising team back on the court next season."

"This is a devastating end to what has been an incredibly special season for our team," head coach Jill Thomas said in the news release. "After all the ups and downs we faced, this team had persevered and was playing its best basketball of the season entering the GAC Tournament. To not have our season end on the court is crushing, but it takes nothing away from how much this team means to me and our staff. They have represented themselves and this school in a manner they should be deeply proud of. I love this team and am heartbroken for them. This hurts, but we will be back."

SAU will move on to the semifinals Friday at 5:30 p.m. while Southern Nazarene will play at Southwestern Oklahoma State or host OBU.

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