Lady Matadors’ freshman hurler fires first career no-hitter against NJCAA Top 10 opponent
Yuma, Arizona – March 18, 2013 -- Arizona Western College is proud to announce that AWC Softball player Briana VanSickle (bree-ANN-nuh vann-SIK-uhl) has been named the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference Division I Softball Pitcher of the Week for the week ending March 16th. It’s the second time in as many weeks that a Lady Matador pitcher has earned the award after Hayley Miller earned the accolade a week ago. The announcement comes just two days after VanSickle reached the 10-win plateau for the 2013 season by helping the Lady Matadors to a 6-1 win over Illinois Central College in the final game of the Deanna Mauer Classic in Casa Grande Saturday.
Of the 18 players on the 2013 AWC Softball Roster, VanSickle is the only one that doesn’t hail from either Arizona or California. But even though VanSickle had to make the longest trip of any of her teammates to get to the AWC campus from her home in Fort Collins, Colorado, VanSickle has had little trouble making herself at home wearing the cardinal and gold. After battling nagging injuries at the start of the season, VanSickle hit her stride, and she and fellow Lady Matadors’ starting pitcher Hayley Miller have been a formidable ‘1-2 punch’ during conference doubleheaders ever since. VanSickle raised the bar even higher this past week beginning in Thatcher against the 8th-ranked Eastern Arizona Lady Gila Monsters. The ‘Monsters came into the day on top of the ACCAC Softball Standings, but dropped to 2nd place at the end of the afternoon-thanks in part to the pitching of VanSickle, who flummoxed the normally powerful Lady Gila Monster batting order for 7 innings. Only 3 EAC hitters reached base, and none of them because of hits, giving VanSickle her first career college no-hitter. VanSickle went the seven-inning distance, walking just one while striking out 5 in the Matadors’ 2-0 win. Saturday, VanSickle finished off the Lady Matadors’ action at the Deanna Mauer Classic in Casa Grande as she took the bump against Illinois Central. Her teammates gave her a 6-0 cushion to work with by the 4th inning, and VanSickle continued to mow down hitters for five scoreless innings, scattering just 3 hits until giving way to reliever Jackie Pierson for the last 2 innings. VanSickle got the win in the 6-1 victory, which gave her a 10-4 record at the end of the week. For the week, VanSickle recorded 12 scoreless innings, allowing just 3 hits and 3 walks while recording 6 strikeouts. For the season, VanSickle’s 1.74 earned run average and 63 strikeouts lead the team, while her 10 wins is right behind Miller for the team lead.
VanSickle and the Lady Mats get back into conference play tomorrow (Tuesday, March 19th) as they kick off a six-game homestand by hosting the Lady Geckos of Gateway Community College. First pitch for the ACCAC doubleheader is scheduled for high noon tomorrow at the AWC Softball Field on the main campus (2020 South Avenue 8E in Yuma), and admission is free.