LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The National Fastpitch Coaches Association is proud to announce the top three finalists for the NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year trophy, which will be presented prior to the start of the 2015 NCAA Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Oregon’s Jenna Lilley, Alabama’s Alexis Osorio and Oklahoma’s Paige Parker are the three outstanding freshman student-athletes that made the final cut.
Lilley, the Pac-12’s Freshman of the Year, was also a first-team all-conference selection in her rookie season. The only Duck to start all 55 games this season, Lilley, a two-time Louisville Slugger/NFCA Player of the Week, ranks third in the Pac-12 with a .441 batting average and a .550 on base percentage, tied for fifth with 16 doubles and is sixth with 57 runs scored. Her average, doubles, runs scored and 36 free passes lead the Ducks, while she chips in with six home runs, 15 stolen bases and 44 RBI. In addition, the North Canton, Ohio native was selected honorable mention all-defense, posting a .947 field percentage at the hot corner.
One of just two freshmen on the SEC All-Conference First Team, Osorio was also named the league’s Freshman of the Year. The Riverside, Calif. native is one of the toughest pitchers to hit in the SEC, limiting opponents to a league low .169 batting average. Posting a 19-7 record, she ranks third in the SEC in ERA (1.43) and strikeouts (194) and tied for third with six shutouts.
Parker is making herself known both in the circle and at the dish in 2015 earning Big 12 Pitcher of the Year and Co-Freshman of the Year accolades. She is just the third player in NCAA Division I history to twirl four perfect games in a season. The Independence, Mo. native is a league-best 27-5 with a Big 12-low 1.49 ERA and .169 batting average against. She has struck out 211 in 197 innings with nine shutouts and three saves. Offensively, Parker is batting a cool .406 with five doubles, nine home runs, 42 RBI and 27 runs scored.
The NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year trophy will be presented during a live ceremony on May 26 prior to the opening of the annual Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla.
The NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year award is voted on by the members of the NFCA’s Division I All-American & Coaching Staff of the Year Committee.
With the Association always searching for innovative ways to promote the sport of softball, the NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year award grew from an idea to honor outstanding athletic achievement among freshman softball student-athletes throughout Division I.