Johnston, Hitchcock Lead Squads To Series Victories
Jessica Johnston was UC Santa Barbara’s force at the plate, while Brittany Hitchcock was masterful in the circle for Hawai‘i to highlight this week’s softball awards.
Johnston Supplies Big Portion Of Gaucho Offense
UC Santa Barbara junior Jessica Johnston (Studio City, Calif./Harvard-Westlake School) nabbed Big West Softball Field Player of the Week honors for her contributions in a 2-to-1 series victory over CSUN.
The outfielder played a role in six of UCSB’s eight runs scored over the three games, scoring twice and driving in four more. She hit .500 (5-for-10) against Matador pitching, with a triple and a home run helping pad a 1.000 slugging percentage.
Johnston tallied the game-winning RBI in game one of the series with a single up the middle in the bottom of the third. She then tripled in the fifth, coming around to score on a sac fly for an insurance run and the final tally in a 3-0 win.
After recording a pair of hits in a game two loss, Johnston powered UCSB to victory in the deciding game of the series. With two runners aboard in the bottom of the third, Johnston uncorked her fourth home run of the year, a three-run shot to right that extended the Gaucho lead to 4-0. Those runs would hold up as UCSB shut out CSUN for the second time in the series.
Others nominated: Lexi Gonzalez (Cal State Fullerton); Taylor Glover (CSUN); Sammi Gyerman (Long Beach State); Alex Sotomayor (UC Davis); Angelique Ramos (Hawai‘i)
Hitchcock Posts Pair Of Shutouts
Hawai‘i junior Brittany Hitchcock (Huntington Beach, Calif./Ocean View HS) earned her third Big West Softball Pitcher of the Week honor after collecting two complete-game shutouts in a conference series against UC Riverside.
The right-hander yielded seven hits and zero walks over her 14.0 innings of work. Hitchcock also struck out 11 hitters and held the Highlanders to a .146 batting average. The two shutouts raised Hitchcock’s total to a career-high eight this season.
Hitchcock led the Rainbow Wahine to a 2-0 victory in game one of the series as she scattered four hits with four strikeouts. She did not allow a runner to reach third base for the sixth time this season, and she succeeded in not giving up a walk for the ninth time in an appearance.
With the series tied 1-1, Hitchcock returned to the circle for the rubber game and did not disappoint. She tossed a complete game three-hitter. She sat down the first 12 Highlanders before yielding a single to start the fifth inning. Once again, Hitchcock denied any runner from reaching third base – the seventh time this year that had happened – and she did not allow a walk while striking out seven.
In the 5-0 victory, she faced just 24 batters, three over the minimum. Hitchcock improved to 16-7 on the year with a 1.73 ERA in 149.1 innings pitched. She has walked just 21 hitters all season and struck out 133.
Others nominated: Lindsey Chalmers (Cal Poly); Kelsey Kessler (Cal State Fullerton); Taylor Troost (CSUN); Cielo Meza (Long Beach State); Tayler Misfeldt (UC Riverside); Ashley Wright (UC Santa Barbara)