OKLAHOMA CITY - USA Softball, the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States, has announced the Top 3 Finalists for the 2017 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. The winner will be announced at the opening of the 2017 NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS) in Oklahoma City. The USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, which is considered the most prestigious honor in Division I women’s collegiate softball, recognizes the outstanding athletic achievement by Division I female players across the country.
Now in its 16th year, previous recipients of the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award are UCLA catcher Stacey Nuveman (2002), Texas pitcher Cat Osterman (2003, 2005 and 2006), Florida State pitcher Jessica Van der Linden (2004), Tennessee pitcher Monica Abbott (2007), Virginia Tech pitcher Angela Tincher (2008), Washington pitcher Danielle Lawrie (2009 and 2010), Stanford shortstop Ashley Hansen (2011), Oklahoma's Keilani Ricketts (2012 and 2013), Florida State's Lacey Waldrop (2014), Florida’s Lauren Haeger (2015) and Michigan’s Sierra Romero (2016).
The 2017 Southeastern Conference (SEC) Pitcher of the Year, Kelly Barnhill leads the nation with a 0.35 ERA and ranks in the Top 10 in shutouts and strikeouts. In just her sophomore season at the University of Florida, Barnhill has racked up First-Team All-SEC honors and boasts a 23-2 record with 310 strikeouts and only eight earned runs allowed through regional play. Behind the arm of Barnhill, who was named an NFCA First Team All-Region honoree, Florida earned the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Softball Championship, and will look to lead the Gators in their Super Regional against Alabama.
A three-time Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Pitcher of the Year, Megan Good recently completed her junior season at James Madison University, where she amassed a 38-3 record and 0.63 ERA through regional play. Ranked at No. 3 in the nation in ERA, Good leads the country in shutouts and wins, helping land her First Team All-CAA accolades for the third-straight season. A dual-threat, Good finished her junior campaign with a .383 batting average, picking up 58 RBI and scoring 34 times. Good, who made CAA history after being named the 2017 CAA Pitcher and Player of the Year, was recently tabbed an NFCA First-Team All-Region honoree.
The 2017 SEC Player of the Year, Meghan Gregg ranks in the Top 10 in the country with a .440 batting average, while accumulating a .555 on-base percentage, 77 RBI, and belting out 14 home runs. Gregg, who is in her junior season at the University of Tennessee, leads the SEC in nearly every offensive category, including batting average, slugging percentage, RBI and total bases. Recently named an NFCA First-Team All-Region honoree, Gregg will look to lead Tennessee back to the NCAA WCWS as the Vols host the Knoxville Super Regional against Texas A&M.
The winner of the 2017 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award will be announced on May 30 at the team-only banquet just prior to the start of the NCAA WCWS.
The USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award is voted on by coaching representatives of 10 Division I Conferences in the 10 USA Softball Regions, members of the media who consistently cover Division I Softball across the country as well as past winners of the award.
In addition to bestowing the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, USA Softball is now in its 15th season of presenting the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll and the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week, which are announced Tuesdays during the regular season. A complete history of the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award, past Top 25 Polls and Player of the Week honorees are available at Teamusa.org/USA-Softball/
-- Courtesy of USA Softball