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NU's Watkins earns second MAAC Softball Rookie of the Week honor


EDISON, N.J. – Freshman infielder Kendall Watkins from the Niagara softball team was named the MAAC Softball Rookie of the Week, announced on Tuesday. Watkins picks up her second Rookie of the Week nod of the season following a stellar week at the plate. She batted 7-for-16 last week with eight RBI, three home runs, one double, and five runs scored as the Niagara Purple Eagles went 4-2 on a six-game road trip.

In the first game of Niagara's doubleheader at Syracuse on April 18, Watkins sent a home run over the center-field wall against the Orange's top pitcher, Sydney O'Hara, to make it a 7-1 game after four full innings. That two-run shot proved to be the difference as Niagara held on for its first-ever win over the Orange, a 7-6 decision.

In MAAC play last week, Watkins drove in four of Niagara's six runs while batting 3-for-3 in a 6-3 win at Monmouth on April 22. She had a two-run home run in the first inning against the Hawks, and her RBI single in the top of the third proved to be the game-winning run for Niagara. In a doubleheader sweep at Rider on April 23, Watkins went 3-for-6 in the two-game set with one home run, one double, and two RBI.

Watkins has started all 34 games for Niagara this season, primarily at second base. She ranks third on the team with a .326 batting average and leads the team in on-base percentage (.447), home runs (five), and runs scored (21) and ranking second in slugging percentage (.522) and RBI (18).

The Purple Eagles are back at Niagara Softball Field for six games this week, starting on Wednesday, April 26 with a 3 p.m. doubleheader against the Akron Zips.