Shelese Arnold Named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week

Shelese Arnold was lights out in the circle this weekend, tossing 13 shutout innings.
Shelese Arnold was lights out in the circle this weekend, tossing 13 shutout innings.

April 22, 2013

Park Ridge, Ill. - Illinois sophomore Shelese Arnold was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week this afternoon after throwing back-to-back shutouts this past weekend against Indiana. She is the first Illinois player to earn a weekly award this season and wins the award for the first time in her career.

Arnold was nearly flawless in the circle this past weekend, holding the Hoosiers to just four hits and two walks in 13 innings of scoreless play. Fresh off an extra innings walk-off victory in the first game of the series, Illinois' bats struggled against Indiana's game two starter. However, Arnold kept the Hoosiers off the board for the complete game, allowing just four baserunners while retiring 13 of the final 14 batters. The Illini were unable to plate a run until the bottom of the sixth, when Remeny Perez smacked a solo homer off the scoreboard, and thanks to Arnold's outstanding composure in the circle, the Illini were able to hold on for the 1-0 victory.

The Lexington, Tenn., continued to dominate in Sunday's series finale, retiring the first two batters of every inning and allowing just three two-out baserunners. The Illini bats exploded in the final game of the series, cutting Arnold's start short in the 8-0 run rule victory.

In 13 innings in the circle, Arnold allowed four hits, two walks and a hit batter. No Indiana runner advanced past second base, and the Hoosiers never had more than one runner on base in any given inning.

The sophomore is having a fantastic season for the Illini owning a 2.62 ERA in 22 appearances, allowing just 40 earned runs over 106.2 innings, striking out 65. She ranks four in the Big Ten in earned runs allowed and is one of just three conference pitchers to not allow a triple all season.

Also receiving conference honors this week are Northwestern's Amy Letourneau and Michigan's Sierra Lawrence. Letourneau garnered Player of the Week honors after hitting .692 with three multi-hit games in the Wildcats' sweep of Penn State.  Lawrence was named Freshman of the Week after recording a hit, run and RBI in all four games to lead the Wolverines to a perfect 4-0 week. She finished the week hitting .462 with eight RBI and five runs, including hitting a grand slam against Iowa.