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Softball: Molly Rathbun Cited Nationally

Senior pitcher/DP honored as NFCA National Player-of-the-Week

rathbunPOW72dpi_0268.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University senior softball pitcher/designated player Molly Rathbun (Hebron) has been named the National Fastpitch Coaches' Association (NFCA)/Louisville Slugger Division III National Player-of-the-Week for the week ending April 15.

At left: Molly Rathbun

It is the second time in her career that Rathbun has been honored on the national level. She shared the recognition in her previous selection.

Against the No. 1 ranked team in New England in Tufts University last Sunday, Rathbun threw the program's first perfect game in 27 years, fanning seven and retiring all 21 batters in order in the 4-0 win at Wellesley, Mass.  Tufts, ranked No. 11 nationally, had a .352 team batting average entering the day.

The win avenged Rathbun's only loss of the season as she won her 16th against a loss, 15th in a row. In the game, she also homered in the first and hit a two-run double in the fifth. On Saturday, she pitched a one-hitter after carrying a perfect game into the seventh inning of a 6-0 road win over UMass Boston.

In Eastern's 8-0 week, Rathbun was 4-0 with a 0.24 ERA, fanning 50 and walking two with a 0.24 ERA (one earned run) in 29.0 innings, with batters hitting just .102. She appeared in five of the games as a pitcher, starting four and saving one. She threw four complete games, three of them shutouts and allowed runs in one game.

Offensively during the week, Rathbun hit safely in all seven games in which she batted to extend her hitting streak to 13 (it currently stands at 16) and led the team in batting average (.524) and RBI (12) and also had 16 total bases and a .762 slugging average.

The three-time All-American currently leads the nation in ERA at (0.36) and is second in least hits per game (2.7) and third in shutouts (9) and strikeouts  (11.7). Rathbun also leads the Warriors offensively this season in batting average (.463), RBI (26) and on-base percentage (.516).   During the week, she broke the program record for career total bases (currently 268) and and also hit a home run to improve her program-record total to 24.

Rathbun owns program pitching records for appearances, innings, starts, wins, winning percentage, strikeouts, saves, complete games, shutouts and relief appearances and is second in ERA and no-hitters. She has one of two perfect games in program history.
Ranked No. 3 nationally behind Linfield College and Emory University and No. 1 in New England, the Warriors have won a program-record 28 games and are currently 29-1 (8-0 in the Little East), 20-0 in up north.

Eastern hosts Rhode Island Saturday in at 1 p.m. in a battle of unbeaten conference teams.

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