FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (arkansasrazorbacks.com) – Freshman Atalyia Rijo has been named SEC Freshman of the Week after making an immediate impact in No. 6 Arkansas’ 5-0 opening weekend at the Rebel Kickoff in Las Vegas.
The Horseheads, N.Y., native cracked head coach Courtney Deifel’s opening weekend lineup at shortstop. In five games, Rijo paced Arkansas in batting average (.636), hits (7) and on-base percentage (.733). Rijo went 7-for-11 at the plate while slugging her first career home run and double. The rookie also scored six runs and compiled 11 total bases, five RBIs, four walks and a 1.000 slugging percentage.
Against tournament host UNLV Friday night, Rijo reached base in all three plate appearances after connecting on a single and drawing two walks. In Arkansas’ second game vs. Weber St. Saturday, Rijo drove in the first run of her career on an RBI single through the right side to score sophomore Spencer Prigge.
In her first multi-hit game, Rijo finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and walk in Arkansas’ 10-2 routing of Southern Utah in Saturday’s finale.
Rijo had a career day in the Hogs’ win against Baylor Sunday, leading Arkansas with three hits and three RBIs while towering her first career home run. The rookie put Arkansas on the board in the second inning with a two-out, RBI double to left for an early 1-0 lead. Up to bat again in the fourth, Rijo drove in her second run on a single to left center. Rijo finished her dominant performance with a solo home run in the top of the seventh to ensure an 11-7 victory.
Showcasing her defensive prowess, Rijo held it down at short with a .938 fielding percentage on 16 total chances and turned Arkansas’ first double play of the season.
Current Razorbacks Kacie Hoffmann and Spencer Prigge received SEC Freshman of the Week honors last season.