Franchi Chosen NWC Pitcher of the Week for Second Time in 2008

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University junior pitcher Nikki Franchi (Los Gatos, CA/Saratoga HS) has been named Northwest Conference Softball Pitcher of the Week for the week ending March 9, 2008. Franchi helped Willamette go 4-0 in a pair of NWC doubleheaders over the weekend.

It is the second time Franchi has been selected Pitcher of the Week this season. She also received the award on Feb. 25, after recording a win and a save during the opening weekend of the season to lead WU to victories over Oregon Institute of Technology and Concordia University (Ore.).

For the week, Franchi earned a 2-0 record and a 0.00 ERA. She struck out 18 batters and allowed just two walks. She gave up only one hit in nine innings of action.

On Saturday, March 8, Franchi threw a five-inning one-hitter, leading Willamette to an 8-0 run-rule victory in the first game of a doubleheader at Lewis & Clark College. She struck out 11 Pioneers during the game. On Sunday, March 9, she allowed no runs and no hits while pitching the first four innings in an 11-1 run-rule win over George Fox University that lasted just five innings. Against GFU, she registered nine strikeouts.

Franchi also had an outstanding week at the plate. She hit .636 with 7 hits in 11 at bats. She hit two homers and one double, while scoring six runs and earning seven RBIs.

This season, Franchi has struck out 41 batters in 30 2/3 innings. She has achieved a 1.14 ERA and a 3-2 record. She has limited opponents to a .151 batting average. On offense, she is hitting .600 for the year (15 of 25) with 10 runs, 10 RBIs and five extra-base hits.

Willamette is 6-2 on the season and 4-2 in the Northwest Conference. The Bearcats will return to action on Saturday, March 15 with an NWC doubleheader at the WU Softball Field against the University of Puget Sound. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. (PDT).

The Bearcats will remain at home on Sunday, March 16 for two games against Pacific Lutheran University. The NWC doubleheader is scheduled to start at 12 p.m. (PDT).

Nikki Franchi was 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA last week.

Nikki Franchi was 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA last week.