March 15, 2011
CLEVELAND – For the fourth consecutive week, junior pitcher Jessica Simpson (North Canton, Ohio) was named MAC East Division Pitcher of the Week for her performance at the Pepsi Malihini Kipa Aloha Tournament in Hawaii. This time she had company as freshman shortstop Kayla Ledbetter (Gahanna, Ohio) was named MAC East Division Player of the Week. It is the second time in three weeks she has won the award.
Simpson continued her record setting campaign with three more shutouts this weekend. She started the event with a 4-0 shutout of South Dakota State. In that contest she struck out a career-high 15 batters while allowing only two hits. She shutout Longwood, a team that is 15-5 on the season, on two consecutive days, allowing only three hits on Saturday and seven hits on Sunday. Simpson increased her scoreless streak to 25.2 innings (including one inning from last week), by shutting out 14th-ranked Hawaii (the nation's top home run hitting team) for the first 3.2 innings before they were able to hit a couple of home runs. She was hurt by an error that kept the inning going, and only five of the runs were earned. Simpson struck out 31 in 27 innings, giving up only those five earned runs on 19 hits for a 1.30 ERA. Opponents only hit .190 against her for the week. At the conclusion of the event, she was named to the All-Tournament squad.
Ledbetter was Miami's top hitter at the Malihini Kipa Aloha, while also earning a spot on the All-Tournament squad. She hit .364 with three RBIs. She had a slugging percentage of .636 thanks to two doubles and her first career triple. With two walks and two hit-by-pitches, she had an on base percentage of .533.
Simpson’s streak of four consecutive MAC East Division Pitcher of the Week awards will end this weekend as the RedHawks do not have a scheduled game. Miami returns to action on Thursday Mar. 25 when it welcomes Morehead State for its home opener. The doubleheader will begin at 2 p.m. The RedHawks will host their annual Miami Invitational Mar. 26-28 with Ball State, Marshall, Purdue and Toledo coming to the Miami Softball Field for a series of games.