Tuesday February 21, 2012Brittany Schutte Named NFCA Division I National Softball Player of the Week
Just a day after earning SEC Player of the Week honors, Florida softball junior All-American catcher Brittany Schutte has been awarded NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association) Division I National Player of the Week accolades for her performance throughout UF’s last four games, marking the first national weekly recognition of her career as a Gator after a staggering .900 average at the plate last week.
“I am very happy for Brittany to be recognized as the NFCA Division I National Player of the Week,” Florida head coach Tim Walton said. “Brittany works hard at her game and is her own biggest critic. Last week, she was locked in and swung at good pitches. When you hit fourth for the Gators, you get everyone’s attention and I truly appreciate the way Brittany has handled the pressure. Brittany Schutte is fun to watch and I am very proud of what she brings to the game.”
The Fountain Valley, Calif., native has helped the Gators to a 9-0 start this year, most recently leading the Orange and Blue to four run-rule victories with wins over Jacksonville and Michigan State. Schutte, a two-time Women’s College World Series All-Tournament Team pick, is riding a five-game hit streak to the Golden State this week after connecting for nine-straight hits from last Wednesday to Sunday.
The Gators’ primary catcher and occasional outfielder grounded out in her first at-bat against Jacksonville, but connected in nine-straight at-bats following, a 9-for-10 performance, while also drawing four walks and racking up six RBI. Schutte now leads the Gators with a .560 batting average and tops the UF 2012 season statistics in doubles, total bases, walks, on-base percentage and slugging percentage, while ranking second in hits, runs and RBI.
The 2011 All-SEC first-team selection scored nine of UF’s 44 runs this weekend, while the Gators limited their two opponents to just seven runs through four games. Schutte was one of two Gator student-athletes to hit two homers last week – her first two of the season – for a 1.600 slugging percentage.
In addition to securing UF’s 700th program victory with its 11-1 win over the Spartans on Feb. 18, Florida set season game highs as a team in hits (14), walks (11), runs (15) and runs per inning (seven) over the weekend. The Gators have now scored 79 runs to opponents’ nine, with 74 RBI, 88 hits, 12 doubles, four triples and 11 homers, good for a .407 team batting clip. UF has seven run-rule victories under its belt this season, including six five-inning wins, and five shutouts on the year.
Next up, Schutte and three other Gators return to their native California for the Cathedral City Classic in Palm Springs with dates against No. 16 Texas A&M, No. 5 Washington, BYU, No. 8 Texas and Boise State during their three-day stay in the desert. The California trip will provide the Gators their first match-ups against Top-25 competition as an early-season test before UF returns home to host Eastern Michigan March 1 and its own tournament, the Lipton Invitational, March 2-4.