Bama’s Dunne named USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year

OKLAHOMA CITY. OK  In its final selection of the 2010 season, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today that Alabama's Kelsie Dunne (Port Orange, Fla.) is the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week for the week of May 10-16. Dunne helped lead her team to an SEC Tournament Championship with an undefeated 3-0 record, which helped the Crimson Tide to clinch a No. 1 seed for the post-season tournament.

The junior pitcher did what no Crimson Tide pitcher had done before in SEC Tournament play – take the ball in all three games and earn the win in each. Dunne posted a 3-0 record with a 1.84 ERA en route to earning SEC Tournament MVP honors. The right-hander struck out 30 in 19 innings and held opponents to just a .152 average. Dunne struck out eight or more in each contest and extended her winning streak to 14 straight starts.

"This is a great honor but I couldn't do it without the play of my teammates," Dunne said. "Coach Murphy called my name this weekend and I was ready to go. I just think it's awesome to play with the team that we have because I know going out there we are going to score runs and they are going to play great defense behind me, so it is very comforting to go out there with such an amazing team. We just look forward to keeping this thing going."

In the opening game against Arkansas, Dunne struck out eight and allowed just two hits in five innings. In the semis against Tennessee she fanned 13 in the complete game effort and scattered three hits and allowed just one earned run. In the title game Dunne allowed four runs on five hits and struck out nine. Over her last 14 starts the right-hander is a perfect 14-0 with a 1.01 ERA. She has struck out 136 in 83 innings and tossed 11 complete games while holding opponents to a meager .150 batting average.

"Kelsi has been at her best at the right time for us," Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy said. "She got big all weekend and led us to the championship. We have never given the ball to only one pitcher at the tournament and she only got stronger as the week went on. She definitely earned the MVP."

This is the second time in Dunne's career that she has received this award but it is the first time for an Alabama player this season.