LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A pair of high-profile victories over defending national champion Alabama have helped LSU senior pitcher Rachele Fico earn a selection as the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I National Player of the Week for April 30.
“I’m extremely happy, humbled and honored to win a national award like this,” Fico said. “I couldn’t have done it without the support of my teammates and the atmosphere provided by the Tiger fans. The Alabama series was so special and is something I’ll never forget for those reasons.”
The Oxford, Conn., product registered a 2-0 record with a 1.87 ERA and six strikeouts over 15 innings of work as the Bayou Bengals swept a three-game series from the then-No. 4-ranked Crimson Tide. The trio of victories clinched LSU at least a share of the Southeastern Conference’s Western Division title for the first time since 2007. During the series opener, Fico sat down 18 of the first 21 UA batters she faced, eventually escaping bases-loaded jams in the seventh and eight frames as No. 8 LSU hung on to top the Tide, 3-2 (8 inn.). During the series finale on her “Senior Day,” Fico struck out four and allowed a pair of earned runs as the Tigers secured the sweep, 4-3. She is the only pitcher in the nation to record a pair of complete-game victories over the defending national titlist Crimson Tide this season.
She currently tops LSU’s pitching staff with a 24-9 overall record and 212 strikeouts over 201.1 innings of work to go along with a 1.98 ERA, 10 solo shutouts and 26 complete games while allowing opponents to hit at just a .197 clip.
“This is certainly a fabulous and well-deserved national honor for Rachele and our program,” LSU head coach Beth Torina said. “She’s a special player and deserves every award she receives. Our games with Alabama are always a battle to the end. Being able to clinch a share of the SEC Western Division title and a sweep on our senior weekend has provided Rachele memories for a lifetime, not only for herself, but her teammates as well.”
The Tigers will wrap-up the 2013 regular season over May 3-5 by making a visit to Athens, Ga., to face-off against the power-hitting Georgia Bulldogs.