PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Pittsburgh, which went 5-0 last week, swept the BIG EAST softball weekly honors as junior Kelly Hmiel was named BIG EAST Player of the Week and senior Alyssa O'Connell was tabbed BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week.
The Panthers posted five wins at East Tennessee State's Buccaneer Classic last week, earning three shutouts and averaging just over 12 runs per contest. Hmiel, the tournament MVP, hit .824 in 17 at-bats as the clean-up, while recording an impressive 2.000 slugging percentage and a .789 on-base performance. She drove in a team-leading 16 RBI as a result of smacking six homeruns, two doubles and six singles. Hmiel was also a perfect 3-for-3 in stolen bases, while posting a .917 fielding percentage. She drove in the winning run against ETSU for a 12-0 fifth-inning win March 13. She became the first Panther to nail three homeruns in a single contest in the 10-1 victory over St. Bonaventure March 11. The junior collected six RBI and scored four runs on a perfect 4-for-4 plate appearance against North Carolina A&T March 12. Hmiel's hits included two homeruns and two doubles in that contest.
Named to the All-Buccaneer Classic team, O'Connell collected two shutouts in the tournament. She led the Panthers with a 0.00 ERA in 10 innings of work. She held batters to a .097 average and allowed just three hits in the process. O'Connell walked three others, but struck out a team-leading 17 batters. The senior earned her second-consecutive shutout and the third mercy-rule victory of the weekend against NC A&T March 12, tossing a one-hitter. She walked one batter and fanned five. O'Connell secured the victory with a swinging strikeout on the last batter of the contest. On the season, she improved to 4-1 in the circle and holds a 1.09 (potential school record) ERA in 25.2 innings. O'Connell held batters to .187 in her seven appearances.
Weekly Honor Roll: Kristen Verdun, DePaul, Fr., P; Megan Williams, Rutgers, Fr., P; Chrissy Montez, St. John's, So., SS; Ashli Goff, USF, Fr., OF; Hallie Gibbs, Syracuse, Sr., 3B