MIAC Athletes-of-the-Week - May 1, 2017

MIAC Athletes-of-the-Week - May 1, 2017

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) recognized outstanding performances from the past week with the announcement of its Athlete-of-the-Week award winners in baseball and softball. Student-athletes from St. Thomas, Saint Mary's, St. Catherine and St. Olaf claimed the conference's weekly honors for the week of April 23-39, 2017.

The MIAC Athlete-of-the-Week awards are nominated and selected each week by the conference's sports information directors. Each week, team sports (baseball and softball) Athletes-of-the-Week are recognized each Monday afternoon, with individual sports (tennis, golf and outdoor track &field) announced on Tuesday afternoon.

This week's MIAC Baseball Athlete-of-the-Week awards were claimed by St. Thomas' Joe Burnley(Player) and for the second time this season Saint Mary's R.J. Brown (Pitcher). St. Catherine's Jenna George claimed the MIAC Softball Player-of-the-Week award for the third time this season, while St. Olaf's Julie Graf claimed her fifth Pitcher-of-the-Week award for the season.

To view each sport's 2016-17 Athlete-of-the-Week home page, visit the MIAC's Awards page, or visit the 2016-17 Athlete-of-the-Week news archive for complete details on each week's selections and winners.

MIAC Athlete-of-the-Week awards are awarded each week during the regular season for each of the MIAC's 22 championship sports to recognize and honor outstanding performances and athletic excellence that contribute to the MIAC's core value of "Quality Athletics."

Baseball Player-of-the-Week

Joe Burnley 
St. Thomas
Sophomore –St. Louis Park 

St. Thomas sophomore Joe Burnley, starting just his seventh and eighth college games, had a breakout day Thursday with first place on the line as St. John's visited St. Thomas. Burnley made the defensive play of the day in right field with a two-out, running over-the-shoulder catch at the fence to save three runs in a 3-2 Tommie win. He also had a two-out single to tie the game 1-1 in the fifth inning. He stroked a three-run double in game two as UST went on to win 9-3. In a 4-0 week for UST, Burnley hit .540 (6-for-11) with four RBI and two steals. In his last five games, he's 8-for-16 with six RBI.

Baseball Pitcher-of-the-Week

R.J. Brown  
Saint Mary's
Junior – Broadview, Ill. / St. Joseph

Saint Mary's R.J. Brown (Broadview, Ill.) tossed his second no-hitter of the season last Friday in the Cardinals' 4-0 Game 1 win over Carleton in Northfield, Minn.

Brown, who tossed the Cardinals' first no-hitter in more than two decades against Aurora on March 17, set down the first seven Knight batters he faced Friday—before surrendering a one-out walk to Zane Johann—and retired the last 10 Carleton hitters, after giving up back-to-back two-out walks to Ben Frerichs and Brendon Fischel in the fifth. He induced the Knights into 10 groundball outs and eight fly ball outs.
Brown—the first Cardinal pitcher on record to throw two no-hitters in a single season—is the first NCAA Division III hurler with two no-hitters in a season since Ferrum's Jake Perkins did it twice during the 2014 season. Brown is also the first MIAC pitcher with two no-hitters in a season since 1977, when Saint John's Rick Laba achieved the feat—no-hitting Gustavus (2-0) and Augsburg (2-0).
After logging just 5 2/3 innings combined in his first two seasons with the Cardinals, Brown has thrown a team-laeding 44 1/3 innings, owning a 3-3 record, a 3.05 ERA, and a team-best 36 strikeouts.

Softball Player-of-the-Week

Jenna George
St. Catherine

Sophomore – Ellsworth, Minn.

St. Catherine's Jenna George went 6-12 at the plate in four games, hitting .500 and helping St. Kate's go 3-1 against MIAC opponents last week. The sophomore hitter was 5-5 in two games against St. Benedict with a monster home run over the left field fence. She also was intentionally walked twice in that series. In the Wildcats sweep against Gustavus, she broke the school record for RBI in a single season and now has a MIAC leading 47 this season. George is second in the MIAC in batting average (.453) and leads in home runs (9) as well.

Softball Pitcher-of-the-Week

Julie Graf
St. Olaf

First Year – Sammamish, Wash. / Eastlake

St. Olaf's Julie Graf threw two complete game shutouts against Augsburg for a 4-0 and 3-0 sweep on Sunday. The first year set a school record in the process for wins (22), as well as pushed her St. Olaf record for single-season strikeouts to 272. Graf also struck out 10, walked one and went 2-for-4 with an RBI in 5-2 win over Macalester on Friday. She still leads the MIAC in ERA (.73), wins (22) and strikeouts (272).

| 2016-17 MIAC Athlete-of-the-Week Archive |