LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Twenty five student-athletes are in the running for the 2022 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year award, the Association revealed on Thursday afternoon. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, May 31 prior to the start of the 2022 NCAA Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.
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. To be eligible, student-athletes must be nominated by their member head coach and in their first year of NCAA Division I collegiate competition as a true freshman or redshirt freshman.
This year’s finalists hail from 25 different universities and represent 15 NCAA Division I conferences from across the nation.
The Southeastern (SEC) Conference led the way with four honorees, while the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) was represented by three student-athletes. The America East Conference, Big West Conference, Colonial Athletic Association, Conference USA and Pac-12 Conference each had two. Leagues with a selection apiece were the Atlantic 10 Conference, Big 12 Conference, Big South Conference, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, Missouri Valley Conference, Mountain West Conference, Southern Conference and The Summit League.
Oklahoma’s Jordy Bahl is the ninth Sooner to make the list, leading all programs since the start of the award in 2014. Additionally, OU has had at least one student-athlete represented since 2015 with three of those – Paige Parker (2015), Jocelyn Alo (2018) and Tiare Jennings (2021) – winning the award. Behind the Sooners is UCLA with their seventh honoree in Savannah Pola.
Twelve programs – Charlotte, Dayton, Louisiana Tech, Northern Iowa, Radford, San Diego State, St. Thomas, Stony Brook, UC San Diego, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, UNC Greensboro and UNC Wilmington – are represented for the first time.
On May 12, the list will be trimmed to the top 10 and the three finalists will be released on May 26. The 2022 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year will be announced on May 31. The list of 25 was selected by the NFCA. The top 10, top three and winner are voted on by the NFCA Division I All-America Committee.
In 2022, the NFCA will award Freshman of the Year honors to a student-athlete from NCAA DI, NCAA DII, NCAA DIII and NAIA. For more information about all NFCA Awards, visit nfca.org.
2022 NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year Top 25
San Diego State
UC San Diego
Schutt Sports/NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year previous winners
2021 – Tiare Jennings, Oklahoma
2020 – Award was not presented due to COVID-19
2019 – Danielle Williams, Northwestern
2018 – Jocelyn Alo, Oklahoma
2017 – Rachel Garcia, UCLA
2016 – Amanda Lorenz, Florida
2015 – Paige Parker, Oklahoma
2014 – Annie Aldrete, Tennessee & Kasey Cooper, Auburn
The NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association) is the professional organization for fastpitch softball coaches. Known for its highly-regarded Schutt Sports/NFCA Freshman of the Year Awards, the NFCA also educates and supports softball coaches on a variety of different levels: from podcasts to a comprehensive drills database, to in-person events and National Convention.