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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The National Fastpitch Coaches Association is proud to announce the top 25 finalists for the inaugural NFCA Division II National Freshman of the Year trophy, which will be presented prior to the start of the 2015 NCAA Division II National Championship in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Behind the collaboration between the NFCA and its Division II Head Coaches Committee, the award was created to honor the outstanding athletic achievement among freshmen softball student-athletes throughout Division II.

This year’s 25 finalists hail from 23 different universities, while the group represents 15 Division II leagues across the nation, ranging coast-to-coast, from New York to California. Carson-Newman, out of the South Atlantic Conference (SAC), and Minnesota Duluth from the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) each boast two finalists.

The SAC, Lone Star Conference and Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) picked up the most overall selections with three. The Heartland Conference, Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC), the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) and the NSIC each had two representatives. The PacWest, Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, California Collegiate Athletic Conference, Northeast 10, Gulf South Conference, Great American Conference (GAC), East Coast Conference and Peach Belt Conference had one finalist.

Top 25 Finalists (PDF) 

On Thurs., April 30, the list will be trimmed down to the top 10 finalists, while the top 3 finalists will be selected and released on Thurs., May 13. The inaugural NFCA Division II National Freshman of the Year trophy will be presented during a live ceremony on May 20 prior to the opening of the Division II National Championship, which is being held in Oklahoma City, Okla. for the first time.

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.

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