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Illinois’ Leigh Farina named Big Ten Softball Player of the Week

Junior Leigh Farina led the Fighting Illini softball team to four wins over the past week, including their third Big Ten Conference series sweep of the season with three wins against Michigan State over the weekend en route to earning her first career Big Ten Softball Player of the Week accolade, the conference announced on Monday (April 17).

It is the Illini's second conference Player of the Week honor in 2017 after junior Annie Fleming earned the distinction following the season-opening weekend.

"Leigh Farina has worked extremely hard for this honor," said head coach Tyra Perry. "We have pushed her everyday in practice and she does everything in her power to meet and then beat the challenge. The best is yet to come for Leigh."

The Rolling Meadows, Ill., native had a standout week for the Illini, registering a .636 batting average on a 7-for-11 effort, including knocking a pair of doubles to go along with four RBI, two runs scored and nine total bases. Farina posted an .818 slugging percentage and a .667 on-base percentage on the week, while also totaling nine putouts and 14 assists and fielding three double plays at her second base position.

Farina opened the MSU series with a pair of hits and an RBI, before having a career day on Saturday in a doubleheader sweep. For the day, the junior posted an .833 batting average on a 5-for-6 effort – including equaling a career-high two RBI in game one on Saturday, before recording a career-high three hits in Saturday's second contest. She totaled three RBI, a run and a 1.167 slugging percentage between the two games.

Farina and the Illini return to action on Wednesday (April 19) with a 5 p.m. CT contest against Butler at Eichelberger Field.