Red-Hot Rodriguez Earns Big West Player Of The Week Honors

#24 Kelsey Rodriguez - Photo by: Matt Hom
#24 Kelsey Rodriguez - Photo by: Matt Hom

Irvine, Calif. - Turning in a spectacular performance at the plate over the weekend at UC Riverside, Pacific sophomore Kelsey Rodriguez was named the Big West Player of the Week for the week ending on April 8.  The Tiger utility led Pacific to a three-game sweep of the Highlanders on the road over the weekend to earn her first weekly award of the season.  The award was the second career award for Rodriguez and marked the fourth time a Tiger had been named the player of the week.

Entering the weekend as Pacific's hottest hitter, Rodriguez kept the fire burning against the Highlanders as the sophomore posted an impressive .667 average over the three-game series to lead a Pacific attack that hit .414.  In 12 official at bats, Rodriguez posted a team-best eight hits with five of her hits going for extra bases to slug 1.250 on the road.

For Pacific, Rodriguez's at bats proved to be of utter importance throughout the weekend as second-year player came up big in every moment the Tigers needed her to do so.  In game one and with the Tigers trailling 2-0 in the sixth, it was Rodriguez's leadoff double that sparked the game-tying rally.  An inning later, her ground ball to the right side moved the winning run to third and set up a sacrifice fly situation that proved to be the game-winning run.  She would go 3-for-4 in the Tigers' five-inning, 9-1 win over the Highlanders in game two of the series.

In game three, and with the Tigers trailing 6-0 after just one inning, Rodriguez helped kick start the comeback once again as she doubled home a pair of runs in the top of the second to cut the deficit to just two runs.  Three innings later, Rodriguez blasted her fifth home run of the season to begin the top of the fifth inning, sparking a two run inning that put Pacific within one late in the game.

For the season, the reigning Big West Freshman of the Year is hitting .372, third best in the Big West, while driving in 29 RBI and scoring 27 runs.  She is second on the team with nine doubles and five home runs as the sophomore is slugging .584 in her second season of play.