Moon Township, Pa. – Senior Nicole Sleith of the Robert Morris University softball team was named Northeast Conference (NEC) Pitcher of the Week for the fourth time in five weeks as announced by the league Monday afternoon.
Sleith, a Yough graduate, was a major reason why RMU went 4-1 at the Miami Invitational this past weekend as the Colonials posted the best winning percentage of the six teams at the event.
Sleith was dominant at Miami (Ohio) as she went 4-0 in four appearances with three straight shutouts to finish the weekend. She allowed opponents to hit .137 off of her in the tournament, posted a 0.50 ERA and struck out more than one batter per inning (32 strikeouts in 28 innings).
Sleith allowed just two hits in a complete-game victory Thursday to begin the event, the fewest total she had yielded in her last 17 starts. The following night with the Colonials clinging to a 1-0 lead for most of the game, Sleith was brilliant as her two-hit shutout helped RMU down the host RedHawks. She faced just three over the minimum and needed only 79 pitches to complete the contest.
Sleith may have saved her best for last as she twirled back-to-back shutouts Sunday on the final day of the tournament. She conceded just nine combined hits in the 14 innings while striking out 19 against a lone free pass. It marked the first time in her career that she threw three shutouts in three consecutive appearances.
Sleith moved her career shutout total to 22 this past weekend and also became the first Colonial ever to reach 150 strikeouts in four different seasons. She notched her eighth double-digit strikeout effort in 14 starts on the season in the tournament finale.
Sleith now has 150 strikeouts in 103 innings this season, averaging over 10 K's per seven innings. She has registered a 1.56 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP in 2015. She is tied for sixth in Division I in strikeouts and is among the top 25 nationally in shutouts and hits allowed per seven innings.
Sleith currently ranks second in RMU career history in strikeouts (786) and third in wins (65).
Before this announcement, Robert Morris had never before claimed a Player or Pitcher of the Week honor four times in a five-week span in a single season.
The Colonials have now claimed seven of the first 15 weekly accolades handed out by the conference this season.
Sleith claimed her 14th Pitcher of the Week award with this announcement and the 19th weekly honor of her career, extending the RMU program record in both categories.
(photo courtesy of Robert Morris University)