Posted permission, article and pictures, courtesy of Hawaii Pacific University
IRVINE, Calif. – Hawai’i Pacific University’s Noel “Tita” Saunders is this week’s PacWest Conference Softball Player of the Week for her outstanding play in the Sharks final games of the season last Friday.
Saunders, a 5-2 junior from Pearl City, Hawai ‘i/Pearl City, hit her first home run of the season last week and she made it count. Saunders launched a go-ahead two-run home run into rightfield in the top of the 10th inning to lead the Sharks to a 5-3 victory and doubleheader sweep against Hawai’i Hilo. Saunders also hit two doubles in that game to finish 3 for 5. The home run was her first of the season and she entered the game with just 11 extra-base hits all year before hitting three in one game. In the second game of the doubleheader, Saunders helped start a four-run inning in the fifth to help the Sharks come from behind. She hit a single into centerfield to load the bases and came around to score what ended up being the game-winning run. She also had an RBI sacrifice fly in the sixth inning to add an insurance run to the 5-2 victory.
Saunders ended the season as HPU’s batting leader, hitting .327 for the season as she started all 50 games. She led the Sharks with 11 doubles on the year, and with 24 runs batted in.
Joining Saunders with weekly honors is Biola’s Paige Austin as PacWest Softball Pitcher of the Week.