Yuma, Arizona – April 15, 2013 — Arizona Western College is proud to announce that for the second time this season, AWC Softball player Courtnie Ploesch (KORT-nee PLOSH (long ‘o’ in last name… rhymes with ‘gauche’) has been named the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference Division I Softball Player of the Week for the week ending April 13th. It’s the third time that a Lady Matador softball player has earned the ACCAC Player of the Week honor, since April Marquez earned the accolade in mid-March, and the fourth overall ACCAC POW honor that a Lady Matador has taken home this season after Hayley Miller joined April Marquez in the same week by winning the ACCAC DI Pitcher of the Week Award.
Ploesch has been the most consistent force the Lady Matadors have had in their arsenal the past two years, and as the Lady Matadors strive to clinch their fourth Region I Division I Playoff berth in the last five years, the native of Blythe, California continues to come through at key times. Ploesch began the week leading the Lady Mats to their first perfect six-game homestand since 2005 as they hosted South Mountain Tuesday at the AWC Softball Field. Ploesch set the tone immediately by singling in her first at-bat from the top of the Matadors’ batting order and getting as far as 3rd base. She went one step further in the next inning, giving the Lady Mats the lead for good by cracking a pitch off the left field wall to plate Summer Ehrig with the first run of the game. She topped that in the 5th inning, knocking in a pair of insurance runs with a one-out single to ensure a 7-3 Matador victory. In Tuesday’s nightcap, she helped break open a scoreless game in the fifth inning by doubling in Lauren Miranda to give the Lady Mats a 2-0 lead; then stepped to the plate in the bottom of the 6th inning to cap off the game’s scoring with an RBI single, giving the Mats that much-needed sweep with a 6-2 win. For the day, Ploesch was 5-for-8 with a pair of doubles and a team-high five runs batted in. Saturday afternoon, the Lady Matadors ran into trouble against the defending NJCAA Division II Champions from Phoenix College, but Ploesch continued to stay consistent. She was one of two different Lady Matadors to get a pair of hits in Game 1, and scored the second run of a three-run seventh inning that nearly brought the Mats a comeback victory. In Game 2, Ploesch gave the Lady Mats their only lead of the day in the game’s first at-bat, cracking her 7th home run of the season in the top of the 1st inning to give the Mats a 1-0 lead. She would add a double & a single before the game’s conclusion, scoring twice. For the day, Ploesch again had five hits in eight at-bats, with a homer, double, 3 runs scored and an RBI. For the week, Ploesch was 10-for-16 (a .625 batting average) with a homer, 3 doubles, 3 runs scored & a half-dozen runs batted in. Ploesch raised her season batting average nearly 30 points on the week, and she’s now 2nd on the team with a .390 batting average. She’s once again the team leader in hits (67), and continues to pace the team in runs scored (67) and stolen bases (22). Ploesch is also 3rd on the team in home runs & RBI (38).
Ploesch and the Lady Mats now head into the final two weeks of the regular season needing a push to get back into a playoff spot. They’ll continue their current eight-game road trip tomorrow in the Phoenix area as they battle the Paradise Valley Lady Pumas in a 1PM doubleheader. They’ll finally return home a week from tomorrow, Tuesday, April 23rd, to begin their final four-game homestand of the season against the first-place team in the conference, the Central Arizona Vaqueras. First pitch for the ACCAC doubleheader is scheduled for high noon next Tuesday at the AWC Softball Field on the main campus (2020 South Avenue 8E in Yuma), and admission is free.