|Sleith Named NEC Pitcher of the Week Again|
Moon Township, Pa. - Freshman Nicole Sleith (Smithton, Pa. / Yough) of the Robert Morris University softball team claimed a pair of weekly honors from the Northeast Conference (NEC) as announced in the league's weekly release Monday.
Sleith was named both Pitcher of the Week and Rookie of the Week, earning both awards for the second time in three weeks, as she played a large role in helping RMU clinch a playoff berth for the fifth-consecutive season.
With these two honors, Robert Morris broke its single-season school record for weekly NEC awards as it now has garnered 10 this season. RMU's season total, which is currently double that of any other conference school, marks the first time in seven years that a NEC squad has hit double figures in weekly honors in a season.
Sleith earned her second pitcher of the week honor and her fourth rookie accolade to bring her season total to six awards. She becomes just the second active Colonial, joining senior Jaci Timko (Houston, Pa. / Chartiers Houston), to have at least a half-dozen weekly honors in her career.
Sleith went 3-0 with a save this past week as she registered a 0.82 ERA in over 25 innings. She began the week by notching a complete-game victory over Mid-American Conference foe Akron as she allowed just six hits and one earned run in seven innings while striking out seven. Sleith then came up big during a doubleheader sweep of defending NEC tournament champion Sacred Heart. She started the opener and went all nine innings to register the win. She allowed just two runs and struck out eight without walking a single batter. In the nightcap, Sleith was called upon in a jam, with the tying run at the plate, but she would retire each of the five hitters she faced, three by way of the 'K', to tally her fifth save of the season.
Sleith then outdueled reigning NEC Pitcher of the Year Heather Schwartzburg in a 1-0 victory over Quinnipiac Saturday as she twirled a three-hit shutout. She posted eight strikeouts against just a lone walk to become the first Colonial freshman ever, and just the fourth RMU pitcher overall, to surpass 200 strikeouts in a season. The effort doubled as her 20th win of 2012 as she became just the fifth Colonial in history to hit that mark in a single season. Sleith now has 102 strikeouts against just 12 walks in her past 13 starts.
Sleith leads the NEC in wins (20), strikeouts (203) and saves (5) and sits second in the conference in ERA (1.66). She has demonstrated an ability to shut the door on opposition rallies as she has held opponents to a .167 batting average with runners in scoring position throughout the season.
RMU has now claimed 15 of the past 40 weekly rookie honors dating to March 2009, a considerable figure in an 11-team league.
Robert Morris is off until this coming Sunday, April 29, when it wraps up its NEC slate. The Colonials will host Central Connecticut State at Noon in the final regular-season home games of 2012.