Watkins Named Big Ten Player of the Week

April 18, 2011

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Junior Liz Watkins was selected as the Big Ten Player of the Week Monday, after batting .625 with an .800 on-base percentage and a 1.500 slugging percentage in leading the University of Iowa softball team to a 3-1 record last week. The honor is Watkins’ second of the season and the third of her career.

The Taylor Ridge, Ill., native went 5-for-8 at the plate during the four games, while reaching base seven more times — four via hit by pitch and three more on walks. Watkins also drove in seven runs and crossed the plate four times.

In the weekend sweep over Northwestern, Watkins reached safely in 8-of-9 plate appearances, including her first eight at-bats. In the opener, the catcher went 2-for-2 with three RBI and a run scored to go along with three hit by pitches in Iowa’s 10-8 extra inning victory. In the game, she tallied her first career stolen base.

On Sunday, Watkins went 2-for-3 with three RBI and a career high three runs scored. Both hits were home runs, marking her second career game with two long balls. Her second home run gave Iowa the lead, as the team scored eight runs in the fourth inning to rally from a 7-1 deficit to claim a 9-7 victory.

The accolade is Watkins’ second of the season, as she previously received the honor on March 28. It is the third Big Ten Player of the Week nod for the Hawkeyes, as Stephanie Ochoa also was honored on March 21.

Iowa (24-16, 7-3) returns to action Wednesday afternoon, hosting Iowa State in a HyVee Cy-Hawk Series match-up beginning at 5 p.m.