Freshman pitcher/outfielder Rachel Franck of the Webster University softball team thought she was going to ride the bench this season for the Gorloks.
Instead, she played her first games as a Gorlok during the team’s spring break trip to Kissimmee, Fla., and started in six of those seven games. There, she recorded 9 hits, scored 3 runs and recorded 2 RBIs. That was just her performance at the plate.
She pitched for just the second time in her college career during that week, and threw a no-hitter in seven innings against Catholic University of America (D.C.), a team that averaged more than four runs per game coming into that March 9 game.
Franck tried not to let her inexperience be a weakness as a freshman this season, and said it was tough not to be nervous before some games.
“I don’t think about it until I usually see a girl, and if she is bigger, I’m like, ‘Oh, my God, she is like 23,’” Franck said. “But it’s just like, well, if they hit it, they hit it, and I have a whole defense behind me.”
Franck said her performance this season is dedicated to her younger brother, Danny Franck, who died at the age of 12. He died just three days before the regular season started, and Rachel was considering taking the year off.
“I’m trying to make him proud,” Rachel said. “He made me proud and I think (this award) is helping.”
Rachel led the team in batting average (.420), stolen bases (16) and ERA (0.66). The batting average was sixth in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference; the stolen bases put her at fourth in the SLIAC. The 0.66 ERA led the SLIAC.
Runner-up: Sam Kersting, volleyball
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