LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Ten student-athletes remain in the running for the 2019 Schutt Sports / NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year award, announced the Association on Thursday afternoon. The winner will be presented prior to the start of the 2019 NCAA Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.
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This year’s finalists hail from nine different universities and represent five Division I conferences. UCLA out of the Pac-12 garnered two honorees. The Big Ten led the way with three representatives, while the Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern Conference have two selections apiece. The Atlantic Coast Conference captured one plaudit.
Five of our finalists - Alabama’s Montana Fouts (SEC), Oklahoma’s Grace Green, Virginia Tech’s Kelsey Bennett (ACC), Northwestern’s Danielle Williams (Big 10) and UCLA’s Megan Faraimo (Pac-12) - were named their respective conference’s freshman of the year.
Faraimo and teammate Kelli Godin become the fourth and fifth Bruin to reach the top-10, while Green and Minnesota’s Natalie DenHartog are their program’s fourth honoree, respectively, to earn top-10 status. Bennett is the first Hokie to be a top-10 finalist.
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The top three finalists will be released on May 21. 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 28.
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.
Schutt Sports/NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year
2018 – Jocelyn Alo, Oklahoma
2017 – Rachel Garcia, UCLA
2016 – Amanda Lorenz, Florida
2015 – Paige Parker, Oklahoma
2014 – Annie Aldrete, Tennessee & Kasey Cooper, Auburn
2019 NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year Top 10
Kelsey Bennett, 3B, Virginia Tech
Lexie Blair, OF, Michigan
Natalie DenHartog, OF, Minnesota
Megan Faraimo, P, UCLA
Montana Fouts, P, Alabama
Kelli Godin, OF, UCLA
Grace Green, 1B, Oklahoma
Shealyn O'Leary, P, Texas
Ashley Rogers, P, Tennessee
Danielle Williams, P, Northwestern