Stern, Roessing sweep ACCAC DII Player of the Week Awards
Freshman IF named week’s top player, sophomore hurler notches top pitcher accolade
Phoenix, Arizona – March 19, 2014 -- Phoenix College is proud to announce that two members of the PC Softball team have been named as the ACCAC Division II Softball Players of the Week for the week ending March 15th. Infielder Molly Stern was named the ACCAC Division II Player of the Week, while Cassie Roessing (RESS-sing) was named the ACCAC DII Pitcher of the Week. While it’s the first time this season that either has won the honor, it’s the fifth and sixth times this season that a Bears’ Softball player has won one of the awards, following the leads of Courtney Geith (February 8th), Kaitlyn Koponen (February 8th & 15th), and Nicole Larsen (March 8th). It’s the first time that Stern has won the award, and it’s the second time in her two-year career that Roessing has been honored in such a way. The announcements come just five days after the two helped the Bears score the most runs in a single game-23 in a shutout of Doane College JV (NE) to wind up play at the Deanna Mauer Classic in Casa Grande Saturday-for a Bears’ team in six years.
There has been a major difference over the past couple of weeks with how the Bears’ offense goes about scoring runs, and it’s been extremely noticeable. The Bears have skyrocketed not only to the top of the ACCAC in home runs (with 24 in conference play), but they’re also now 2nd in the nation in that category with 40 overall. Molly Stern has been one of the key components in that influx of power-especially this past week. It’s the latest example of the versatility that Stern has shown ever since coming to the Bears’ program after graduating from Sunrise Mountain High School last spring. Stern has spent time at third base, second base and first base already this season on defense, and is now stepping on all of those bags regularly on offense. Stern began her assault this past week with a banner day at Chandler-Gilbert, banging out a pair of solo homers in Game 1, and winding up with 5 hits in seven at-bats in the doubleheader while scoring four times and knocking in two runs. Stern then helped galvanize the Bears after suffering their first loss of the week in Game 1 of their doubleheader Thursday at 9th-ranked Scottsdale by hitting her third solo bomb of the week as part of a 3-for-4 performance in Game 2. Stern was also an integral part of the blue-and-gold machine that pumped out a 23-run, 19-hit performance against Doane Saturday by scoring two runs and knocking in another. For the week, Stern had 11 hits in 17 at-bats, with 3 homers, a double, 5 runs batted in and scoring nine times herself. On the season, Stern has upped her batting average to .426, and is now 2nd on the team in doubles (9), 3rd in home runs (4) and runs scored (26), and 5th in hits (29).
Speaking of the ‘long ball’, it could be very easy for Bears’ fans to pay more attention to what Cassie Roessing does at the plate, since she’s now 4th in the ACCAC in home runs with 7 (which leads PC). But what Roessing has done in the pitcher’s circle has been just as magical, since she has split her pitching time nearly equally between starting and coming in in relief, yet has amassed an impressive and unblemished won-loss record. The Goldwater High School alum showed how effective she can be at both last week, beginning the week in a dominating starting role Tuesday against Chandler-Gilbert. She went the distance in the seven-inning nightcap, keeping the Coyotes scoreless until the final inning in a 10-2 whitewash, scattering 7 hits while striking out 7 batters. Thursday afternoon in Scottsdale, Roessing ensured that it would be historic day by slamming the door on the Artichokes in the nightcap of the doubleheader, retiring the final 5 outs of the 1100th career victory of her head coach, Bears’ Head Softball Coach Heinz Mueller (and hitting a pair of solo homers in the twin bill). Saturday afternoon, Roessing was a study in focus on the mound against Doane, not letting the carousel of Bears’ runs on offense deter her from firing an impressive one-hitter (the first of her career) that saw just one Doane hitter reach base in the five-inning rout. For the week, Roessing was 2-0 with a stingy 1.02 earned run average in 13 2/3 innings, striking out 15 opposing hitters while allowing just 3 walks. On the season, Roessing is suddenly a perfect 7-0, and is 9th in the league in overall wins. She also moved into the ACCAC Top 5 in ERA (2.12, 5th) and strikeouts per game (5.14, 4th); while placing 8thin the conference in strikeouts overall (34).
After facing four different non-conference teams over their last five games, the 3rd-ranked Bears return to the ACCAC schedule this Saturday as they head to Mesa Community College to face the Thunderbirds in a noon doubleheader. Their next home matchup happens next Tuesday, March 25th, when they take on the archrival Glendale Gauchos in a key ACCAC doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 1PM at the Bears’ Softball Field on the PC campus (1202 West Thomas Road in Phoenix), and admission prices are as follows: $5 for adults; $3 for students with a valid ID; and kids 12 and under get in FREE.