WILMINGTON, North Carolina – UNCW freshman Merritt Wilkinson was named the Colonial Athletic Association’s Rookie-of-the-Week on Tuesday.

Wilkinson becomes the second UNCW rookie to win the award in as many weeks as fellow Seahawk newcomer Peyton Jordan was recognized on Feb. 11.

"Merritt was as mentally tough as anyone on the team this weekend," said UNCW Head Coach Kristy Norton. "She is as good of a two-strike hitter as you can be right now.  Even on the home run she hit, she started off looking at two strikes before working the count to full before getting the go-ahead hit." 


A native of Burlington, N.C., Wilkinson went 5-for-8 at the plate with four RBI, a 1.500 slugging percentage and a .667 on-base percentage to lead UNCW to a 3-1 record in the Seahawk Invitational last weekend.

Wilkinson opened the four-game event with a 2-for-3 effort at the plate that included a double and RBI against UMBC. She followed that performance with three walks and a run scored in a 10-2 victory versus Norfolk State and finished the weekend by going 3-for-3 with three RBI in the tournament finale against UMBC. Wilkinson ended the game versus the Retrievers a single shy of the cycle as she hit the eventual game-winning home run in the bottom of the sixth to help the Seahawks post a 4-3 victory.

UNCW (4-3) returns to action Friday as they open the Gamecock Invitational with a 12:30 contest against Michigan State.