LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The National Fastpitch Coaches Association is pleased to announce the top 10 finalists for the inaugural NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year trophy, which will be presented prior to the start of the 2014 NCAA Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla.
With the Association searching for innovative ways to promote the sport of softball, the NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year award grew from an idea to honor outstanding athletic achievement among freshman softball student-athletes throughout Division I.
Each of this year’s 10 finalists represents a different university, while the group hails from six Division I leagues across the country. The Southeastern Conference led the way with three overall selections, while the Pac-12 Conference and Big Ten Conference both garnered a pair of inclusions. The Atlantic Coast Conference, Big West Conference and Sun Belt Conference all earned a single nod.
On Thurs., May 22, the list of 10 finalists will be trimmed to the final three. The inaugural NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year trophy will be presented during a live ceremony on May 27 prior to the opening of the annual Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla.
About the NFCA
The National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) is the professional growth organization for fastpitch softball coaches for all competitive levels of play. Founded in the early 1980s by collegiate softball coaches, today the organization also includes high school coaches, travel ball/club coaches and individuals who support the sport. Founded by coaches for coaches, the Association is built on strong values and continually instills within its members a deep sense of responsibility for developing programs that enrich the lives of all those involved.
In addition, the Association provides educational training; encourages sportsmanship and high standards of competition; promotes the sport both nationally and internationally; identifies and pursues issues relevant to the fastpitch coaching profession and provides a forum to discuss those issues; honors excellence through awards programs for coaches and players, and keeps members informed of current coaching techniques, equipment innovations and fastpitch news.
NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year – Top 10 Finalists
Annie Aldrete – DP/C – Tennessee
Megan Betsa – P – Michigan
Kasey Cooper – 3B – Auburn
Tori Finucane – P – Missouri
Sara Groenewegen – P/IF – Minnesota
Haley Hayden – OF – Louisiana-Lafayette
Sierra Hyland – P/DP – Cal Poly
Katiyana Mauga – RF – Arizona
Delaney Spaulding – SS – UCLA
Karley Wester – OF – Notre Dame