ASHLAND, Ore--- By not a big surprise at all, Southern Oregon's Lauren Quirke put the finishing touch on her long list of achievements for her career on Tuesday. The NAIA announced the third baseman/pitcher as the 2021 NAIA Player of the Year.
Before looking at the national spotlight, take a look at what she did in the Cascade Conference alone. Quirke torched the conference's career batting average record while hitting .470. In 2021, she hit 10 home runs.
Quirke, already the Cascade Conference Player of the Year, gave the league office plenty of reasons to hand her the award. In the NAIA, Quirke led all players in hits (101). On top of that, Quirke was second in RBIs and total bases with 70 and 162 respectively. She was No. 5 in batting average (.488). Her 64 runs scored was good enough for sixth in the league.
When Quirke stepped into the circle, things got even tougher for Cascade opponents. Quirke was No. 1 in win percentage (.895) and No. 3 for ERA (1.84) in the CCC.
Quirke also played an instrumental role in closing out the national championship series over Oregon Tech. Quirke replaced ace Gabby Sandoval in the bottom of the 7th and pitched through the final 9th inning.