OKLAHOMA CITY - USA Softball announced Oklahoma's Jocelyn Alo, UCLA's Rachel Garcia and Washington's Gabbie Plain are the remaining finalists for the 2021 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. The USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award recognizes the outstanding athletic achievement by Division I female players across the country.
Alo, the 2021 Big 12 Player of the Year, leads the nation in home runs (27) and slugging percentage (1.120), ranks second in RBI (75) and fifth in batting average (.479). In her senior season, Alo earned First-Team All-Big 12 honors and has recorded a hit in all but six games of the 2021 season.
Rachel Garcia, boasts a nation-leading 0.60 ERA with an undefeated 14-0 record, two saves and 124 strikeouts in 94 innings. A dual threat for the Bruins, the three-time Pac-12 Player of the Year, has blasted 11 home runs for the Bruin offense, while posting a .362 batting average and a team-leading .766 slugging percentage.
Gabbie Plain was tabbed the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year. She leads the nation in strikeouts (302) and ranks in the top 10 in shutouts (11) and wins (29), while topping the Pac-12 in almost every pitching category, including wins, strikeouts, complete games and ranking third in ERA. Plain has racked up 14 double-digit strikeout performances and twirled four no hitters.
The winner of the 2021 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award will be announced on Tuesday, June 1 prior to the NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS). The presentation will be hosted virtually in conjunction with the reveal of the Schutt Sports (NFCA) / Freshman of the Year. The virtual ceremony will begin at 8 p.m. CT and will be available to watch live on NFCA.org.
Previous recipients of the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award are Stacey Nuveman (UCLA, 2002), Cat Osterman (Texas, 2003, 2005 and 2006), Jessica Van der Linden (Florida State, 2004), Monica Abbott (Tennessee, 2007), Angela Tincher (Virginia Tech, 2008), Danielle Lawrie (Washington, 2009 and 2010), Ashley Hansen (Stanford, 2011), Keilani Ricketts (Oklahoma, 2012 and 2013), Lacey Waldrop (Florida State, 2014), Lauren Haeger (Florida, 2015), Sierra Romero (Michigan, 2016), Kelly Barnhill (Florida, 2017) and Rachel Garcia (UCLA, 2018 and 2019). A 2020 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award was not given out due to the COVID-19 pandemic and season cancellation.
The USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year 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.
-- Courtesy of USA Softball