2023 TUCCI/NFCA Division I Freshman of the Year, 2023 nfca freshman of the year, nfca, tucci, NiJaree Canady, 2023 NFCA Division I Freshman of the Year,

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Stanford University’s NiJaree Canady is the 2023 TUCCI/NFCA Division I Freshman of the Year, the Association revealed on Tuesday evening at the 2023 NCAA Women’s College World Series banquet in Oklahoma City.

Canady is the nation's leader in ERA (0.48), strikeouts per seven innings (11.7) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (9.95), while ranking third in hits allowed per seven innings (3.34). Over 116.1 innings of work, she is 16-1 and leads the Cardinal with 193 strikeouts and a 0.64 WHIP, while walking only 19 and holding her opponents to a miniscule .138 batting average. 

She played a pivotal role in the Cardinal advancing to the Women’s College World Series for the first time since 2004. Stanford was a perfect 5-0 during its run to the WCWS. During that stretch, Canady was 2-0 with a 0.40 ERA and 25 strikeouts to just one walk over 17.1 innings of work. On the road in Super Regionals against Duke, she twirled a complete game four-hitter (1 R, 9 K, BB) in the opener. Less than 24 hours later, Canady earned a three-inning save (0 R, 1 H, 4 K) to close out the Blue Devils. The first-inning run in the opener was just the ninth she has allowed all season.

Joining Canady as finalists were Duke University’s D’Auna Jennings and Indiana University’s Taryn Kern.

The winner was voted by the Association’s Division I All-America Committee. 

The TUCCI/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.

In 2023, 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.

Previous winners include Jordy Bahl (2022 – Oklahoma), Tiare Jennings (2021 – Oklahoma), Danielle Williams (2019 - Northwestern), Jocelyn Alo (2018, Oklahoma), Rachel Garcia (2017 – UCLA), Amanda Lorenz (2016 – Florida), Paige Parker (2015 – Oklahoma) and inaugural recipients – Annie Aldrete (Tennessee) and Kasey Cooper (Auburn) – in 2014. Award was not presented in 2020.

The NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association) is the professional organization for fastpitch softball coaches. Known for its highly-regarded TUCCI/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 6,700 coaches today!

NFCA Division I Freshman of the Year

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