WKU Softball rookie pitcher Kennedy Sullivan posted another dominating week in the circle for the Hilltoppers and has been recognized by the league office as the Conference USA Co-Pitcher of the Week. The Georgetown, Ky., native went 3-0 on the week while recording a no-hitter and an NCAA-best 17-strikeout showing on separate occasions.
“Kennedy continues to be impressive and a leader in the circle,” head coach Amy Tudor said of the freshman. “She has a great work ethic, attitude and desire to perform. From being ranked third nationally in strikeouts per game to throwing a no-hitter in just her eighth outing, she has shown what she is capable of doing.”
Sullivan’s 17-strikeout performance came a day after the freshman tossed a no hitter against Evansville and less than a week after a 16-strikeout outing against Butler. Seventeen punchouts is the fifth-most ever recorded by a Hilltopper and the second-most ever registered in a regulation-length game. The mark is tied with two other performances for the most strikeouts in a single game in the NCAA this season with UMBC’s Courtney Coppersmith the only other pitcher to do so in a regulation-length game. Sullivan is the only pitcher in the nation with two showings of 16 or more strikeouts.
The freshman’s no-hitter was the 13th in program history. Sullivan is just the fourth freshman to ever record a no-no and the third hurler to do so in a run-rule victory setting.
Across the week, Sullivan finished with a 3-0 mark after picking up wins over Indiana State, Evansville and Samford. She allowed just nine hits in 16.0 innings of work while striking out 31 batters en route to a 1.31 ERA on the week.
At the plate, Sullivan added four hits and four RBI to the Hilltoppers’ cause including her second multi-hit performance in the win at Samford.
As Tudor referenced, Sullivan ranks third across the NCAA with 12.4 strikeouts per game – a mark that leads Conference USA. Her 9-0 record on the season is also tops in the league and ranks eighth nationally.
Sullivan earned Co-Pitcher of the Week with Louisiana Tech senior Preslee Gallaway who went 2-1 on the week with 15 strikeouts and just one earned run.
The last WKU pitcher to land recognition as the league’s pitcher of the week was Kelsey Aikey who earned the honor twice in 2018 as a sophomore.