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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

Jordy Bahl
Jordy Bahl
Pitcher
Oklahoma
Mac Barbara
Mac Barbara
DP/UT Non-P
San Diego State
Megan Bloodworth
Megan Bloodworth
Second Base
Alabama
Jada Cecil
Jada Cecil
Pitcher
UC San Diego
Ella Chancy
Ella Chancy
Third Base
Charlotte
Jessica Clements
Jessica Clements
Outfield
Cal Poly
Alyssa Costello
Alyssa Costello
Outfield
Stony Brook
Mya Dodge
Mya Dodge
DP/UT Non-P
Northern Iowa
Michaela Edenfield
Michaela Edenfield
Catcher
Florida State
Brooke Ellestad
Brooke Ellestad
Shortstop
St. Thomas
Bri Ellis
Bri Ellis
First Base
Auburn
Kendra Falby
Kendra Falby
Outfield
Florida
Tatum Kresley
Tatum Kresley
Outfield
UMES
Jane Kronenberger
Jane Kronenberger
Second Base
Notre Dame
Emma Lemley
Emma Lemley
Pitcher
Virginia Tech
Grace Loftin
Grace Loftin
Outfield
UNCG
Jackie Masone
Jackie Masone
Shortstop
Drexel
Kya Matter
Kya Matter
Pitcher
UMBC
Cori McMillan
Cori McMillan
Third Base
Radford
Savannah Pola
Savannah Pola
DP/UT Non-P
UCLA
Sierra Sacco
Sierra Sacco
Outfield
Louisiana Tech
Cydney Sanders
Cydney Sanders
First Base
Arizona State
Emma Schutter
Emma Schutter
Outfield
Dayton
Emily Winstead
Emily Winstead
Pitcher
UNCW
Koko Wooley
Koko Wolley
Shortstop
Texas A&M

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

Learn more about the NFCA and consider joining nearly 6,000 coaches today!

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