SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sophomore Caitlin Brooks was named the Big Sky Conference's Softball Pitcher of the Week for the fifth time this season after throwing a pair of shutouts last week against Weber State.
Brooks led the Hornets to a 2-1 record against the Wildcats after the right-hander threw shutouts in both of the Hornet victories. In fact, Brooks finished the series 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA while allowing just three hits with one walk and 19 strikeouts in 14.0 innings of work. She tossed a one-hit shutout in the Hornets' 3-0 victory on Friday, and followed that effort a day later with a two-hit shutout in Sacramento State's 7-0 win on Saturday.
Amazingly, the Escalon, Calif., native has now earned the Big Sky's weekly pitching award five times this season, including March 19, March 12, Feb. 19 and Feb. 12.
Weber State hit just .065 against Brooks, and she combined to face only nine batters over the minimum in those two games. She had a career-high 11 strikeouts on Saturday, after recording eight strikeouts on Friday.
Friday's effort was Brooks' fifth shutout of the season, a one-hitter that saw her throw 102 pitches and face six batters over the minimum. She allowed just one runner past second base, and that came in the second inning because of a Sacramento State error. In fact, that miscue set up Weber State with runners at second and third base, and one out, but Brooks struck out the next two batters to the end the inning.
In Saturday's shutout, Brooks faced just three batters over the minimum, and her 11 strikeouts surpassed her previous career best of 10, which she had already accomplished three times this year. Weber State had runners at first and third base with no outs because of two Hornet errors in the third inning, but Brooks worked her way out of that jam. Only two Wildcat runners advanced past first base the entire day. She threw 96 pitches, a relatively low tally considering she had 11 strikeouts.
Brooks has now thrown shutouts in three of her last four starts, and is 12-5 with a 1.24 ERA. That includes a 4-1 record and 1.15 ERA against Big Sky competition. Overall, opponents are hitting just .153 against Brooks, and she has better than a 4-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (123 strikeouts, 29 walks).
Sacramento State (20-16, 5-4) is currently tied for third place in the Big Sky standings with nine games remaining on the regular season schedule. The top four teams in the seven-member Big Sky qualify for the league's postseason event on May 9-11.