Chapple Named National And Big 12 Player Of The Week

March 18, 2008

LAWRENCE, Kan. –

Softball junior Val Chapple has been named USA Softball National Player of the Week by the Amateur Softball Association as well as Big 12 Softball Player of the Week for the week of March 10-16. Going 7-for-8 at the plate, including four home runs and a double in three games, the 5’3″ power assisted <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Kansas (21-6) to three wins over the weekend at the KU Invitational.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

Chapple is the first KU softball player honored with national and Big 12 player of the week awards since Kassie Humphreys accomplished the feat on May 16, 2006.

“It feels amazing to be given such a great honor,” said Chapple. “Sometimes things just fall into place and I am very excited that our team is playing well this year. My teammates provide solid competition in the lineup and it makes all of us that much better.”

The in-state product from Overland Park, who is a first-time recipient of both awards, batted a team-best .875 and also batted in 13 runs and scored eight of her own, while collecting 20 total bases for a 2.500 slugging percentage. The third baseman also added two putouts and eight assists in an errorless defensive effort. She tied a school record with three home runs in the first game of a doubleheader against Buffalo on Friday, March 14. Chapple went 3-for-3 at the plate with two-run homers in the first, third and fourth innings as she helped lead the Jayhawks to a 9-0, five-inning victory. KU’s third baseman tied current assistant coach Christi Musser’s KU single-game home run record set on April 21, 2001. The three roundtrippers also rank second nationally as she becomes the 35th player in history to hit three homers in a single game.

“This is a tremendous honor for Val and for our team,” said KU head coach Tracy Bunge. “She has worked extremely hard throughout the year and it is wonderful to see it come together for her and for the team. She has been a big part of our early season success. Val is humbled to have received this award, but she is more excited about the success the team has experienced.”

Chapple again went 3-for-3 in game two against the Bulls, including her fourth homer of the day, to collect four RBIs and giving her 10 in the doubleheader. She added one more hit (a double) and three more RBIs in an 11-3 victory over Louisiana Tech to wrap up the weekend.