May 8, 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Tennessee freshman Annie Aldrete has been named a top 10 finalist for the inaugural NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year trophy, as announced on Thursday by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
The award will be presented prior to the start of the 2014 NCAA Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Aldrete earned First Team All-SEC and Freshman All-SEC honors earlier this week. The Monterey, Calif., native was also a two-time SEC Freshman of the Week this season (March 17 and March 31). Entering the SEC Tournament, Aldrete is batting .372 with 16 homers, 12 doubles and 55 RBIs. She also led the SEC with 12 homers in conference play.
With the Association 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.
Each of this year's 10 finalists represents a different university, while the group hails from six Division I leagues across the country. The Southeastern Conference led the way with three overall selections, while the Pac-12 Conference and Big Ten Conference both garnered a pair of inclusions. The Atlantic Coast Conference, Big West Conference and Sun Belt Conference all earned a single nod.
On Thurs., May 22, the list of 10 finalists will be trimmed to the final three. The inaugural NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year trophy will be presented during a live ceremony on May 27 prior to the opening of the annual Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla.
NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year - Top 10 Finalists
Annie Aldrete - DP/C - Tennessee
Megan Betsa - P - Michigan
Kasey Cooper - 3B - Auburn
Tori Finucane - P - Missouri
Sara Groenewegen - P/IF - Minnesota
Haley Hayden - OF - Louisiana-Lafayette
Sierra Hyland - P/DP - Cal Poly
Katiyana Mauga - RF - Arizona
Delaney Spaulding - SS - UCLA
Karley Wester - OF - Notre Dame