OKLAHOMA CITY — After opening her senior season with a perfect game and two no-hitters, Cal Poly’s Sierra Hyland (Visalia, Calif.) has earned the Week 1 USA Softball Collegiate National Player of the Week, USA Softball announced today. Helping the Mustangs to a 4-1 record over the course of opening weekend, Hyland was also named Big West Conference Pitcher of the Week for the 12th time in her career. This marks the second USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week award for Hyland, who previously earned the honor in Week 3 of the 2016 season.
“I felt calm, composed and very confident is all of my pitches,” said Hyland. “I made sure I threw with conviction and I couldn't have had the success I did without a solid defense behind me."
Hyland opened the 2017 season against Purdue in dominate fashion, tossing a nine-strikeout, no-hitter to lead the Mustangs to a 2-1 win. Retiring the first nine batters faced, Hyland continued that momentum in her two innings of relief work in Cal Poly’s second game of the day. Entering the game in the sixth inning with the game tied up at 6-6, Hyland tossed the final two innings as Cal Poly would claim the 8-6 win, with Hyland earning her fifth career save.
Hyland returned to action the next day with the same effectiveness in a perfect game performance against Creighton. A nine-strikeout effort fueled Hyland’s fifth career no-hitter as the Mustangs picked up the 8-0 (five inning) win. During the game, Hyland also sent a three-run home run out of the park. Hyland went onto produce another two-inning relief performance in the team’s night cap, striking out five batters to pick up her third win of the tournament. Hyland also was handed the ball in Cal Poly’s final matchup of the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. against then-No. 9 Oregon. Despite retiring five Oregon batters via the strikeout, Hyland suffered her first loss of the 2017 season in a 3-1 decision to the Ducks.
“It’s an honor for Sierra to win the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week,” said Cal Poly Head Coach Jenny Condon. “She threw well all weekend and had a lot of support from her teammates. Being sidelined by injury for a portion of last season gave her a new perspective and determination to come back ready to play for herself and her teammates. She worked hard in the offseason to prepare for her senior year and she got the payoff the first weekend. Last weekend will be a great foundation to build on the rest of the season."
For the weekend, Hyland finished with 31 strikeouts and three earned runs in 23 innings pitched for a 0.91 ERA. At the plate, Hyland also picked up five RBI with one home run, averaging a .214 (3-for-14) batting average and a .571 slugging percentage.
Up next for Cal Poly is the highly-anticipated Mary Nutter Classic in Cathedral City, Calif., where the Mustangs will face off against No. 5 UCLA, UCF, Utah Valley, San Diego and Liberty University.
2017 USA Softball National Collegiate Players of the Week Week 1 (Feb. 9-12): Sierra Hyland – Cal Poly – Senior – Pitcher – Visalia, Calif.
About USA Softball USA Softball is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USA Softball sanctions competition in every state through a network of 70 local associations and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 150,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2 million. USA Softball is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch. USA Softball annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships. The USA Softball umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best trained umpires in the game.
As the NGB for the sport of softball, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USA Softball, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit, www.USASoftball.com.
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