Amber Fiser racks up accolades and strikeouts in Arizona

The junior was recognized as the national pitcher of the week on March 5.

Amber Fiser pitches against Northwestern on April 15, 2017 at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium.

Carter Jones, Daily File Photo

Amber Fiser pitches against Northwestern on April 15, 2017 at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium.

Paul Hodowanic

Junior starting pitcher Amber Fiser began the season for the second consecutive year as the team’s ace and first option. She has certainly pitched up to the responsibility so far. 

Fiser pitched in three games over the weekend, pitching seven innings in each. She finished 3-0, racking up 37 strikeouts and allowing just one earned run. The performance lowered her already stellar 1.79 ERA down to 1.31 and improved her record to 7-4. Her 96 strikeouts for the season rank fourth most in the country. 

Her commanding performance garnered national attention as the junior was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week and National Pitcher of the Week.

“It’s a huge credit, the Big Ten had a great weekend with a lot of upsets … and a lot of strong individual performances,” said head coach Jamie Trachsel. “Just to be acknowledged within the conference was a great honor. Then on the national stage of course there are very few pitchers who get to be part of an award and recognition like that.”

It was fifth time the Big Ten awarded Fiser the honor and the second time she was recognized as national pitcher of the week. 

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Fiser said of the awards. “I’ve been working really hard to get to this point and I honestly can’t take all the credit for it. My defense has been making the plays behind me, without them I might not have the one-hitter or those great numbers.”

The defense has committed just four errors in Fiser’s 64 innings pitched this season. Along with the defense, the Gophers are outscoring their opponents 44-17 over her 11 starts.

The humble junior was quick to praise her teammates and coaches when asked about the awards.

“For her to acknowledge that, that’s what makes me proud and her being able to handle her success and climbing the ladder and keep herself on an elite stage,” Trachsel said.

Trachsel praised Fiser’s mentality and endurance during the Gophers’ 5-1 victory over No. 19 James Madison. Fiser struck out 12, allowing just five hits and no earned runs in 122 pitches. 

“James Madison in particular is a good team with a feisty offense,” said Trachsel. “I thought for her to be able to close in those sixth and seventh inning after three days, in the warm weather says exactly who she is, she just found a way to do her job and do it better than her opponents.” 

The Gophers travel down to Texas this weekend to take on Texas Southern and No. 9 Texas. Fiser will almost certainly pitch twice against the top-ranked Longhorns, and will be tasked with taking down a higher ranked team. 

Fiser believes there is still a higher gear for her, despite the success and recent accolades. 

“I think there’s always another level you can reach, maybe right now it looks like I’m hitting my spots well but there’s always room for improvement with spins and everything,” she said. “Mentality is the biggest thing for me, and I’ve continued to work on that every week.”