LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Ten finalist have been selected for the 2018 Schutt Sports / NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year award, announced the Association on Wednesday morning. The winner will be honored prior to the start of the 2018 NCAA Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.
Each of this year’s finalists hail from ten different universities and represents six Division I conferences from across the nation. The Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and Southeastern Conference each had two honorees, while the Atlantic Coast Conference and Big South Conference garnered one apiece.
Gardner-Webb’s Katie Prebble was named the Big South’s Player and Freshman of the Year and Michigan’s Meghan Beaubien was selected the Big Ten’s Pitcher and Freshman of the Year. Additionally, Mia Davidson of Mississippi State (SEC), Jocelyn Alo of Oklahoma (Big 12) and Sydney Sherrill of Florida State (ACC) earned Freshman of the Year recognition from their respective leagues. The Pac-12 will reveal their end-of-the-season awards next week.
Alo and Aaliyah Jordan of UCLA becomes the third Sooner and Bruin, respectively, to earn top-10 status. Minnesota is the only other program with a trio of honorees. Over half of the finalists are representing their programs for the first time- Davidson, Prebble, Sherrill, Arkansas’ Mary Haff, Texas’ Janae Jefferson and Northwestern’s Rachel Lewis.
With the selection of Davidson and Haff, the SEC is the only league to have a top-10 finalist each year since the inception of the award in 2014. Of the remaining 2018 recipients, the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 have had an honoree four times, while the Big 12 has had three top-10 nods and the Big South two.
The top three finalists will be released on May 23. 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 29.
In its fifth year, the Schutt Sports / NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year award was created to honor outstanding athletic achievement among Division I freshmen softball student-athletes.
Schutt Sports/NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year
2017 – Rachel Garcia, UCLA
2016 – Amanda Lorenz, Florida
2015 – Paige Parker, Oklahoma
2014 – Annie Aldrete, Tennessee & Kasey Cooper, Auburn
NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year Top 10
Jocelyn Alo, DP/OF, Oklahoma
Meghan Beaubien, P, Michigan
Mia Davidson, C, Mississippi State
Mary Haff, P, Arkansas
Janae Jefferson, 2B, Texas
Aaliyah Jordan, OF, UCLA
Rachel Lewis, 2B, Northwestern
Gabbie Plain, P, Washington
Katie Prebble, 1B, Gardner-Webb
Sydney Sherrill, 2B, Florida State