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Hatlen Named Division III National Player of the Week

Kaaren Hatlen played a key role as Pacific Lutheran swept Willamette and No. 1 -ranked Linfield on the road last weekend, and as a result the Lutes' junior pitcher/designated player has earned Louisville Slugger Division III National Player of the Week recognition for games played March 5-11.

The award was announced today on the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) web site. Read the NFCA release by clicking here.

"Obviously Kaaren is very deserving of this award," PLU head coach Erin Van Nostrand said. "It has been a long journey for Kaaren and for her to finally get here is so exciting.  She has worked her butt of to get to this point and she is totally deserving of everything she is getting.  She is the example that hard work pays off."

Hatlen (Woodinville, Wash. / Woodinville HS) was 7-for-10 with three doubles, three homers, six RBIs, seven runs scored, a 1.900 slugging percentage and a .786 on-base percentage as the Lutes swept aside Willamette and Linfield.

In PLU's 9-5 and 6-2 victories over defending national champion Linfield, Hatlen was 5-for-7 with three runs scored, four RBIs, and a home run and double in each game. She was also the winning pitcher in the second win, limiting the high-powered Wildcats offense to just five hits and two runs in a complete-game effort. In eight innings of work in the circle, she gave up three earned runs on five hits with a 2.62 ERA.

She is leading Pacific Lutheran in most offensive categories for the season, including a .489 batting average, five home runs (tied with Lindsey Matsunaga), 22 RBI, and a .583 on-base percentage.

PLU's road sweep of Linfield helped catapault the previously unranked Lutes into the No. 7 spot in the NFCA Division III Top 25 poll.

- PLU -