AUGUSTA, GA – Jessica Coan has been named the Peach Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week announced today from the league office after entering the NCAA Division II Record books last week with 19 strikeouts in a 7-inning game.
In one of the most dominating pitching performances in the history of Division II softball, Coan punched out 19 batters against the 15th-ranked team in the country, baffling Lenoir-Rhyne for the second most strikeouts in NCAA Division II softball history in a 7-inning contest.
She was one strikeout away from tying Dori Stankewitz from Florida Southern who recorded 20 strikeouts on March 14, 1987 against Tampa University. Coan's 19 strikeouts in the 7-inning game have her tied for second all-time with Torie Bunzell of Quincy University who tallied 19 strikeouts in 2008 and again last year during the 2010 campaign.
The game rolled right along as Coan punched out the first 10 batters she faced before Carlee Carpenter broke up the strikeout string and the no-hitter with a single through the left side with one out in the fourth inning. Coan would go right back to work however, getting back-to-back strikeouts to give her strikeouts for each of the first 12 outs.
Coan added two more strikeouts in the fifth inning, before striking out the side in the sixth frame for the fourth time in the contest, giving the junior 17 strikeouts heading to the seventh inning. Needing to strike out the side in the seventh to tie the all-time record, Coan got fanned two of the three batters in the final frame for the second most strikeouts in NCAA Division II history in a 7-inning game with 19.
With the win, Coan lowered her earned run average to 0.26 on the season, having given up just two earned runs in 54.0 innings of work. She has 98 strikeouts on the year, while opponents are hitting .100 against the hard throwing right-hander. Coan is tied for the league lead in wins with eight, and currently leads the Peach Belt Conference in earned run average and strikeouts per inning.
Coan and the Saints return to action this weekend, hosting Tusculum in a doubleheader on Friday, before four straight games against two of the top 5 teams in the country, battling 2nd-ranked Valdosta State and 4th-ranked Alabama-Huntsville in back-to-back days for the Captain D's Classic at Haines & Carolyn Hill Stadium.