Pac-12 announces softball players of the week

Oregon State Athletics/Washington Athletics/Arizona Athletics

SAN FRANCISCO — The Pac-12 Conference office announced the softball weekly honors for play from Feb. 11-Feb. 14. ARIZONA shortstop Mo Mercado was named player of the week, WASHINGTON’s Taran Alvelo was tabbed pitcher of the week while OREGON STATE’s Meehra Nelson was voted freshman of the week. This is the first-career weekly honor for each student-athlete.

Mercado (Temecula, Calif.) helped Arizona outscored its opponents 63-12 at the Hillenbrand Invitational. Mercado hit four home runs and drove in 11 runs in the six games. The junior slugged 1.421 with four home runs and three doubles, accounting for seven of her team-high-tying 12 hits on the weekend. Mercado hit .632 and scored eight runs while putting together a perfect defensive weekend at her new position, shortstop. Mercado’s selection marks Arizona’s 148th all time weekly honor.

Alvelo (Carroll, Ohio) helped the No. 20-ranked Huskies kick off the 2016 season in decisive fashion, going 4-0 and beating a pair of Top-15 ranked opponents at the UNLV Sportco Kickoff Classic in Las Vegas, Nev. Freshman Taran Alvelo earned the win in the two games against ranked opponents, No. 9 Oklahoma and No. 14 Minnesota, throwing complete games in each contest. Alvelo struck out three Sooners and allowed two earned runs off six hits. Oklahoma loaded the bases in the seventh, but she induced a pair of fly outs to end the game. Against Minnesota, she improved to 2-0 on the season with a solid complete-game effort, striking out eight while allowing nine hits and just one walk. With the bases loaded and no outs in the top of the sixth, Alvelo recorded three straight strikeouts to preserve Washington’s 4-2 lead. This is Washington’s 90th all time weekly award.

Nelson (Simi Valley, Calif.) led the Pac-12 in innings pitched (21.1) in innings pitched in the opening weekend of play. The rookie opened her collegiate career with complete-game wins in all three of her starts, currently sitting undefeated at 3-0. Nelson lifted Oregon State to a six-inning run-rule victory over No. 18 Kentucky with five strikeouts in a two-hit, complete game shutout, in her first collegiate start. She entered in relief against Cal Poly and gave the Beavers a chance for a comeback with five strikeouts in 2.2 scoreless, hitless innings. In her second career start, Nelson tossed a complete-game against CSUN, holding the Matadors to two runs on four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. She helped the Beavers to their second run-rule victory of the weekend in their win over New Mexico, dealing all five innings while holding the Lobos to one run on only two hits and walks with 10 strikeouts. This is Oregon State’s 30th all time Conference honor.

A player of the week has been selected every week since 1989, with the pitcher of the week honor dating back to 1992. This is the second season of freshman of the week honors.

This weekend Arizona and Washington head to the Mary Nutter Classic in Palm Springs, Calif., while the Beavers are off to the Wilson/DeMarini Classic in Las Vegas.

Also Nominated:

PLAYER: Jennifer Soria, ASU; Krysten McCue, CAL; Nikki Udria, ORE; McKenna Arriola, OSU; Kylie Sorenson, STAN; Mysha Sataraka, UCLA; Delilah Pacheco, UTAH; Julia DePonte, WASH.

PITCHER: Breanna Macha, ASU; Nisa Ontiveros, CAL; Meehra Nelson, OSU; Carolyn Lee, STAN; Selina Ta’amilo, UCLA; Miranda Viramontes, UTAH.

FRESHMAN: Taylor McQuillin, ARIZ; Krysten McCue, CAL; Carolyn Lee, STAN; Paige Halstead, UCLA; Taran Alvelo, WASH.

2016 SOFTBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

  Player Pitcher Freshman
Feb. 17 Mo Mercado, ARIZ Taran Alvelo, WASH Meehra Nelson, OSU
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