SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The Cullman Times
Wallace State outfielder Katie Gentle has achieved softball program history, recognized Wednesday as the OC Sports National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Player of the Week for the second consecutive week.
Gentle, a sophomore from Hartselle, lifted the seventh-ranked Lady Lions to four victories from March 18-24, finishing 12-for-15 with two homers, six doubles and 11 RBIs. In a March 20 doubleheader sweep against Columbia State, Gentle was 7-for-8 with two homers and nine RBIs. She added five more hits and two RBIs in a pair of wins against Alabama Southern on March 23.
A week ago, Gentle became the first Wallace State softball player since Kelsey Dennis in 2009 to earn a NJCAA Player of the Week nod and is now the first Lady Lion to be acknowledged in back-to-back weeks. Former Wallace State pitcher Holli Hill earned multiple weekly honors in 2008, but none consecutively.
Since March 15, Gentle is hitting a sultry 26-for-35 (.743) with three homers and 21 RBIs. Overall, Gentle boasts a .556 average this season with six homers, 35 RBIs, 35 runs scored, 18 doubles and 18 stolen bases in 20 attempts.
As a freshman, Gentle hit .342 with six homers and 39 RBIs, helping the Lady Lions win their fifth state championship in six seasons and finish third at the national tournament.
Wallace State is idle until next Tuesday, when it will travel to Motlow (Tenn.) State for a doubleheader. The Lady Lions begin conference play April 4 at Gadsden State.