Nicholson Takes Third MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week Honor
Senior Pitcher Shannon Nicholson and Pitching Coach Bill Kennedy
Senior Pitcher Shannon Nicholson and Pitching Coach Bill Kennedy

May 10, 2007

NORMAL, Ill. - For the second consecutive week, senior pitcher Shannon Nicholson has been named the Prairie Farms/Missouri Valley Conference Female Scholar-Athlete of the Week, after leading her team to a sweep of Missouri State last weekend. Nicholson owns a 3.64 cumulative grade point average in business teacher education.

This marks the third time this season that Nicholson has earned the award, after achieving the honor on March 7, while members of the Redbird softball team have now been acknowledged six times this season. Fellow `Birds Stacy Birk (March 14 and 21) and Tiffany Prager (March 28) were also honored earlier this year. Additionally, Illinois State female student-athletes have been given the nod 10 times in the 2006-07 school year, more than any other league institution.

Earning a 0.37 ERA in three appearances last week, Nicholson improved her overall record to 20-5, picking up a pair of league wins over Missouri State. The Missouri Valley Conference first-team selection started two games over the weekend, earning the complete game decision in both. She gave up just one run to Missouri State in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader, as the `Birds went on to win 11-1.

Nicholson then pitched 12 full innings on Sunday, to earn the 1-0 victory in the circle. She tallied 10 strikeouts on the week, six of which came against the Bears, Sunday. All but one of those strikeouts were third strike calls, as Nicholson's blinding changeup continued to stun opposing batters. The Chatham, Ill., native scattered sixteen hits last week, while walking just two batters through 19.0 innings of work. Nicholson's work in the circle secured the No. 2 seed for Illinois State in the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Softball Championship, May 10-12.

The No. 2 Redbirds will play at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, May 11 in the semifinal round of the 2007 State Farm MVC Tournament, being played in Normal, Ill. ISU will take the winner of No. 3 Southern Illinois and No. 7 Bradley at Redbird Softball Complex.