Twenty-five student-athletes are in the running for the 2019 Schutt Sports / NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year award, announced the Association on Thursday afternoon.
The winner will be presented prior to the start of the 2019 NCAA Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.
This year’s finalists hail from 23 different universities and represent 16 Division I conferences from across the nation.
UCLA out of the Pac-12 and Virginia Tech from the Atlantic Coast Conference each had two selections. The Southeastern Conference led the way with four honorees, while the Big Ten earned three. The ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and Mountain West had two nods each.
Leagues with a selection apiece were the American Athletic Conference, America East Conference, BIG EAST Conference, Big South Conference, Colonial Athletic Association, Ivy League, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Mid-American Conference, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and Southland Conference.
Northern Illinois University’s (MAC) Katie Keller, University of Pennsylvania’s (Ivy League) Emma Nedley and University of Maryland Baltimore County’s (America East) Courtney Coppersmith are the first to represent their university and conference. Student-athletes from Fresno State, Howard University, Stephen F. Austin, Utah State University and Virginia Tech are their program’s first honorees.
On May 9, the list will be trimmed down to the top 10 and the top three finalists will be released on May 21. The Schutt Sports / NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year trophy will be presented during a live ceremony at the Women’s College World Series banquet on May 28.
The Schutt Sports / NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year award was created in 2014 to honor outstanding athletic achievement among Division I freshmen softball student-athletes.
2019 NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year Top 25
- Jayme Bailey, UT, Virginia Tech
- Kelsey Bennett, 3B, Virginia Tech
- Lexie Blair, OF, Michigan
- Peyton Cody, C, St. John's
- Courtney Coppersmith, P, UMBC
- Chenise Delce, P, Tulsa
- Natalie DenHartog, OF, Minnesota
- Kalita Dennis, 2B, Howard
- Megan Faraimo, P, UCLA
- Lacey Fincher, 1B, Georgia
- Montana Fouts, P, Alabama
- Meghan Giordano, 3B, Hofstra
- Kelli Godin, OF, UCLA
- Grace Green, 1B, Oklahoma
- Katie Keller, 1B, Northern Illinois
- Emma Nedley, OF, Penn
- Shealyn O'Leary, P, Texas
- Lexi Orozco, SS, Utah State
- Autumn Owen, C, Gardner-Webb
- Calista Phippen, P, Marist
- Ashley Rogers, P, Tennessee
- Jazmyn Rollin, SS, Missouri
- Kassidy Wilbur, P, Stephen F. Austin
- Danielle Williams, P, Northwestern
- McKenzie Wilson, OF, Fresno State
Here's a look at the previous winners:
Schutt Sports/NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year
- 2018 – Jocelyn Alo, Oklahoma
- 2017 – Rachel Garcia, UCLA
- 2016 – Amanda Lorenz, Florida
- 2015 – Paige Parker, Oklahoma
- 2014 – Annie Aldrete, Tennessee & Kasey Cooper, Auburn