After more than five innings of no-hit work and a career high strikeout performance in the first conference game of the season, freshman Sage Hoover has been named the Southland Conference Pitcher of the Week.
Hoover is the third different Lady Demon pitcher to earn the weekly honor joining Maggie Darr (Feb. 22) and Bronte Rhoden (March 14) from earlier in the season.
It was evident from the first inning that the Houston Baptist lineup was going to have trouble deciphering Hoover’s mix of pitches on the day.
The freshman struck out the side in order in the bottom of the first, one of three instances in the game where she did so, and tallied seven strikeouts the first full time through the Husky lineup.
Her 14 in the game was a new career high and matched Darr’s 14 against Purdue-Fort Wayne as the most in a single game this season and the past 10 years by an NSU pitcher. Her dominance in the strike zone allowed her to retire the first 13 batters she faced carrying a perfect game into the fifth inning and a no-hitter into the sixth.
Against the top hitter in the conference, with the fourth best batting average in the country entering the game, Hoover struck out HBU’s Shelby Echols twice in her three at bats.
It was the sixth outing this season where she struck out eight or more batters and the third with 10 or more strike outs.
Hoover continues to lead the team and the conference in strikeouts this season with 95 and has a 9.9 K/7 average, ranking in the top 50 in the NCAA.
She has a record of 6-3 with five complete games in 10 starts and still leads the country with five saves on the year.
The Lady Demons host Louisiana Tech on Tuesday night at Lady Demon Diamond to complete the home-and-home with the Lady Techsters before the first home conference series of the year this weekend with Nicholls.
PHOTO: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services
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