Hazleton, Pa. - Freshman Samantha Varela (Hazleton, Pa.) and sophomore Kayla Rhome (Marysville, Pa.) were named national players of the week by the United States Collegiate Athletic Association for their performances against SUNY Delhi over the past weekend.
#14 Sam Varela - Varela had a career day at the plate over the course of the April 2 double-header against SUNY Delhi, racking up three home runs and 10 RBI on the afternoon. In game one, the freshman knocked a three run home run out of the park in the first inning, then followed up with a two run blast in the second frame. Varela wasn't finished, notching an RBI single in the third inning, finishing game one 3-3 at the plate with six RBI and two runs scored, leading Hazleton to a 13-0 victory. In game two, Varela came to the plate in the first inning with the bases loaded and delivered her first career grand slam. The home run provided Hazleton all the runs the Lady Lions would need to earn the two game sweep over the Broncos, taking the final game by a score of 4-2.
#11 Kayla Rhome - Hazleton's ace has been wreaking havoc on opposing offenses and picked up her fifth win of the season on Saturday, tossing her second no-hitter of the year against SUNY Delhi. Rhome worked five innings of no-hit ball, striking out 10 total batters including five consecutive K's between the first and second innings. The sophomore had a hand in 13 of the 15 recorded outs by way of strikeout or assist. A fielding error cost Rhome the perfect game, but a game ending double play allowed Rhome to complete the no-hitter facing the minimum required batters. For the season Rhome sports a minuscule earned run average of 0.98 while averaging 7.98 strikeouts per game, the fourth best averages in the country for both categories.