For the second straight week and third time this season, Erica Harper of the Barton Community College softball team was named earlier this week the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) Division I Softball Player of the Week. Harper hit five home runs and drove in sixteen runs batting .621 last week (18-of-29) with a 1.241 slugging percentage and .645 on-base percentage. The 5’5″ sophomore right fielder had multi-hit games in all but one of the eight played, including three or more hits in three of games. Leading Region VI and the NJCAA in home runs, the Topeka, Kansas, native not only drove in eight runs in a 5-for-9 effort against Pratt Community College, but followed it up with a 4-for-6 two RBI series versus Butler Community College helping the Lady Cougars snap a twenty-game losing streak to the Grizzlies. Over the weekend the Topeka Seaman High School graduate added two more homeruns and six runs batted in bringing her leading homerun total to thirteen and a nation’s sixth best fifty-three RBI.
In the week prior, Harper batted 7-of-9 (.778) with a 1.111 slugging percentage and .778 on-base percentage in the only two games Barton played that week as the Lady Cougars went 1-1 at Garden City Community College. Harper drove in three runs in each while hitting her, at that time, eighth home run of the season, a two-run first inning home run in game two helping Barton recover from a disappointing nine inning walk-off loss in the first game.
Joining Bailey Hensley and Holly Posegate who won the conference award earlier in the season, Harper’s accomplishment was the fifth time this season a Lady Cougar has won a conference award in the season’s first eight weeks. Named the recipient of the week four award, Harper was also named the NJCAA Division I Player of the Week that week, having batted 5-of-7 (.714) with a 1.571 slugging percentage and .778 on-base percentage driving in eight runs including two home runs.
Harper and the Lady Cougars sit in third place in the Jayhawk West after Friday’s split with first place Seward County Community College at 8-8 and 26-13. Barton will take a few days off for the Easter break before embarking on a six-game road stretch beginning next Wednesday with a 2:00 p.m. conference doubleheader at Dodge City Community College.