Missy Penna Sweeps National, Pac-10 Weekly Honors
March 31, 2009
Stanford, Calif. - After throwing 34.1 innings, striking out 45 opposing batters and leading the Cardinal to three wins over ranked opponents, senior Missy Penna did what no Stanford player has done before - sweep the national and Pac-10 weekly awards.
Penna was named the USA Softball National Player of the Week, the Louisville Slugger/NFCA National Player of the Week and the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week for her efforts against No. 24/25 Cal Poly, No. 4/5 UCLA and No. 2/2 Washington last week.
'It's such an honor to be chosen among so many great players,' said Penna. 'My team was really behind me this weekend, played great defense and came through to score runs in key situations. I'm excited by how our team is playing right now and hope to carry that momentum into the rest of the Pac-10 season.'
'We are very excited that Missy won national player of the week,' said Stanford head coach John Rittman. 'She has worked extremely hard not only her entire career, but this year as well. She is leading our team both off and on the field and this is great honor for her and our program.'
It was just the second time in her career that Penna has earned a national weekly honor, as she was the first Stanford player ever recognized with USA Softball's award following the opening weekend of the 2008 season. Her award from the NFCA was the ninth handed out to a Stanford player all-time, with the most recent going to rookie Ashley Hansen in February.
Penna also nabbed her fourth Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honor of the year in seven weeks of action. The conference award is the eighth of her career, more than any active player in the Pac-10. The Miami, Fla. native was also honored once as a sophomore, three times last season and on Feb. 10, March 10 and March 24 of this year.
The Stanford ace was on fire this week, throwing 34.1 innings, fanning 45 batters, beating three ranked teams and holding the second-ranked Washington Huskies scoreless for 18 consecutive innings. She won two pitcher's duels with Washington ace Danielle Lawrie, enough to tie Stanford's school win record (105), move into ninth place on the Pac-10's career strikeout list and build her ongoing school shutout record to 45.
She began the week with a 10-inning marathon against No. 24 Cal Poly. In the game, she shattered her own school single-game record with 19 K's.
In conference play, Penna became just the second pitcher this season to beat Washington with its ace in the circle, then repeated the feat in her second game against the Huskies Sunday. Penna fanned 13 in an 11-inning marathon on Saturday, then returned less than 24 hours later and held tight for seven more innings to take home another win on Sunday.
While facing four top-25 teams, and three in the top-five, Penna posted a 1.43 ERA and went 3-1.
Stanford (31-2), which is now No. 2 in both major collegiate softball polls and received two first-place votes, continues Pac-10 play in Oregon this week, beginning the series with a Friday contest at Oregon State (3 p.m.).