Franchi is Named NWC Softball Player of the Week

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Junior right-handed pitcher and designated player Nikki Franchi (Los Gatos, CA/Saratoga HS) has been chosen NWC Softball Player of the Week for her efforts during the week ending on Sunday, March 16, 2008. Franchi helped the Bearcats sweep a double-header with Pacific Lutheran University, as Willamette won 5-1 and 5-4 on Sunday at the WU Softball Field.

Franchi hit .833 (5 of 6) for Willamette during the week. She was 3 for 3 with two runs and two RBIs in the opener against PLU. She went 2 for 3 with one run and two RBIs in the second game. Franchi hit three doubles during the two-game series. She also earned a complete-game win in the opener and picked up a save in the nightcap.

For the season, Franchi is batting .645 with 13 runs scored and 14 RBIs. As a pitcher, she 4-2 with a 1.24 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings pitched.

Willamette was rained out of a doubleheader against the University of Puget Sound on Saturday, March 15, but improved to 8-2 on the season with the wins over Pacific Lutheran. The Bearcats are now 6-2 and in third place in the Northwest Conference.

WU does not play again until March 25-27, when the Bearcats will compete at the Sun West Tournament in Orange County, Calif. Willamette will take on California State University-East Bay and Williams College (Mass.) on Tuesday, March 25 and will play Elmhurst College (Ill.) and Chapman University (Calif.) on Wednesday, March 26. The 'Cats will compete against Hope International (Calif.) and Wellesley College (Mass.) on Thursday, March 27.

Nikki Franchi hit .833 and pounded out three doubles in two games against Pacific Lutheran.

Nikki Franchi hit .833 and pounded out three doubles in two games against Pacific Lutheran.