Emily Benson Earns GNAC Weekly Honor

Feb. 13, 2017

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Western Washington University softball junior first baseman Emily Benson has been named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Week for the week of February 6 to February 12.

Benson (West Richland, WA/Kamiakin) batted .550 (11-for-20) over 6 games last week, totaling 6 runs, 1 double, 3 home runs and 10 RBI. She walked once and did not strike out during the week. Her 23rd career home run came in a 7-4 win over Hawai’i Hilo, setting the new all-time home run record for WWU softball. Her week included three multi-hit games, including a 4-for-4 performance against Western New Mexico.

For the season, Benson is batting .567 (17-for-30) with 11 runs, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 4 home runs and 13 RBI. She has posted a slugging percentage of 1.100 and an on-base percentage of .618, recording a hit in all 10 games for WWU (7-3).

The recognition for Benson is the second GNAC weekly award for WWU during the young season after freshman pitcher Anna Kasner (Milton, WA/Fife) was named the GNAC Pitcher of the Week last week. Benson was named the GNAC Player of the Week once last season for the week of March 21-27. She was also named the NFCA Division II National Player of the Week for the same week last season and was joined by Kasner, who was named the NFCA Division II Pitcher of the Week last week, as the only Vikings to earn a national weekly NFCA honor since WWU joined the NCAA level in 1999.

The Vikings concluded their season-opening trip to Hawai’i with a doubleheader sweep of BYU-Hawai’i last Tuesday to open the season 5-1 before going 2-2 after facing four teams at the Dixie State Easton Classic Tournament in Utah.

WWU will next play in March when the Vikings host Montana State Billings at Viking Field on March 4-5 with a pair of doubleheaders to begin the GNAC schedule. Both doubleheaders are scheduled to begin at noon.