One day after hitting her first career grand slam to cap an outstanding performance at the Judi Garman Classic, sophomore Julie Brechtel was named the Big 12 Softball Player of the Week on Tuesday by the conference office.
Brechtel hit .583 in five games last weekend at the Judi Garman Classic in her hometown of Fullerton, Calif. In addition to the high average, Brechtel finished with seven RBIs and five runs scored in five games at the tournament. Four of those RBIs came in her last game against Penn State, when Brechtel hit the first grand slam by a Husker in nearly two seasons.
Playing in the 17-team tournament that featured nine ranked teams and four top-10 squads, Brechtel’s totals ranked among the tournament’s best. Brechtel led all hitters in the tournament in batting average and on-base percentage, while ranking second in RBIs.
In addition to the cumulative totals, Brechtel set single-game career highs for runs, RBIs, home runs and stolen bases during the tournament. She finished the event with seven hits in her final eight at bats, while reaching base safely in nine of her final 10 plate appearances. Behind her play, Nebraska posted a 4-1 record at the event, which tied for the tournament’s best record.
Brechtel was especially strong in Nebraska’s two games against ranked teams, as she combined to go 3-for-4 with two runs scored, two RBIs a hit-by-pitch and a stolen base against 16th-ranked Louisiana-Lafayette and No. 6 Arizona State. Brechtel produced the game-winning RBI in the Huskers’ upset of the Ragin’ Cajuns and set a new career high in runs scored in a loss to the defending national champion Sun Devils.
Facing a hot Penn State team that was fresh off a win over No. 12 Arizona, Brechtel closed the tournament in style. She hit a grand slam in her first at bat and finished 2-for-2 with a walk, a career-high four RBIs and her second career game with two runs scored. Brechtel also added her second stolen base of the weekend against the Nittany Lions, after not having attempted a stolen base all season before the tournament.
While Brechtel took home player-of-the-week honors, Missouri senior Stacy Delaney was named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week. Brechtel and the Huskers open their home schedule on Tuesday with a doubleheader against North Dakota State beginning at 3 p.m.