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Stevens earns national honor

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Albuquerque native Kelsey Stevens is tied for the national lead with 31 softball pitching victories this season for Oklahoma. (Courtesy of the University of Oklahoma)

Albuquerque native Kelsey Stevens is tied for the national lead with 31 softball pitching victories this season for Oklahoma. (Courtesy of the University of Oklahoma)

OKLAHOMA CITY – A 3-0 record with 28 strikeouts and just three runs allowed in 18 innings in the circle earned University of Oklahoma pitcher and Volcano Vista graduate Kelsey Stevens the USA Softball National Player of the Week, which was announced Tuesday.

Albuquerque native Kelsey Stevens is tied for the national lead with 31 softball pitching victories this season for Oklahoma. (Courtesy of the University of Oklahoma)

Albuquerque native Kelsey Stevens is tied for the national lead with 31 softball pitching victories this season for Oklahoma. (Courtesy of the University of Oklahoma)

Stevens compiled a 1.17 ERA for the week and held batters to a .113 batting average as the Sooners defeated Arkansas in a midweek contest and swept Texas Tech over the weekend.

“I feel it is a testament to all the hard work I have been putting in this season, and I feel truly blessed,” said Stevens, who also earned a player of week honor in 2013 for Stanford.

Stevens, who holds a 1.97 season ERA, is tied for the national lead with 31 wins.

Stevens got the victory at Arkansas as she allowed two runs on two hits and struck out six in the five-inning, mercy-rule win.

In two games against the Red Raiders, who entered the series batting .308 as a team, Stevens struck out 22 and walked two in 14 innings with an ERA of 0.50.

In the series finale, Oklahoma sent Rio Rancho High grad Shelby Pendley to the rubber, and she threw a two-hit, five-inning 13-0 shutout.

“I think this award is a testament to the growth I’ve seen from Kelsey over the course of the season. She has elevated her play and has really been a rock for us since the start of Big 12 play,” said Sooners coach Patty Gasso. “It speaks to how great of a competitor she is and how much she has meant to the team this season.”

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