Feb. 20, 2012
Auburn, Ala. -
Auburn senior softball player Lauren Schmalz was named the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week after picking up wins against No. 15 Oklahoma State and No. 23 Georgia Tech over the weekend.
"We are all very happy for Lauren," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "She was a big reason we won those games. She got knocked around a little against Oklahoma State, but when the situation got tough so did she and she shut them down. Lauren did a great job against (Georgia) Tech after they came back to take the lead. She gave us a chance to win the game by shutting them out."
The Pembroke Pines, Fla., native started against the 15th-ranked Oklahoma State Cowgirls and went four and two-thirds innings in Auburn's 8-0 win. Schmalz gave up seven hits to OSU, but all seven hits were singles. Schmalz did not issue a walk and struck out four.
Against Georgia Tech, Schmalz entered the game in the top of the fourth inning after the Yellow Jackets had rallied for three runs to regain the lead at 5-4. With just one out and the Yellow Jackets on a roll, Schmalz was able to record the final two outs of the inning to end the Tech rally.
From there Schmalz retired the next seven straight Yellow Jacket hitters as the Tigers scored the game's next eight runs to take a 12-5 lead. Despite a one-out hit-by-pitch and two-out walk that put two runners on in the seventh inning, Schmalz never allowed Tech to mount a rally and preserved the win.
It marks the second time in her career Schmalz has earned SEC Pitcher of the Week honors. Schmalz earned the award last season on May 2, after earning the win against No. 4 Georgia.
This season, Schmalz is 4-0 with a 0.36 ERA in 19.1 innings of work. Schmalz has struck out 25, walked five and has held opponents to a .067 average (1-for-15) with runners in scoring position.
The Tigers are 8-0 after winning three games at the SEC/ACC/Big 12 Challenge over the weekend. Auburn will next travel to take on Georgia State at 5 p.m. CT Wednesday. The Tigers will then head to Boca Raton, Fla., for the Strikeout Cancer Tournament on the campus of Florida Atlantic University. The tournament runs Feb. 24-26.