Thursday, May 7, 2015

Top 10 Player of the Year Finalists Named

The list of finalists for the National Player of the Year award has been narrowed down to the top ten, the ASA organization and USA Softball announced yesterday.

SEC regular-season champs Florida and Big 12 power Oklahoma each placed two players on the list, while the Big 10, Pac 12, and AAC were also represented.

The newly-minted all-time home run champ Lauren Chamberlain was all but a given to make the list, and she did so along with fellow slugger and teammate Shelby Pendley.

SEC Player and Pitcher of the Year Kelsey Stewart and Lauren Haeger both made the final ten, and they were joined by conference comrade Emily Carosone of the Auburn Tigers.

Alexis Bennett of UCLA and Cheridan Hawkins of Oregon represent the traditional-favorite PAC-12 conference, while Minnesota sophomore & conference Player of the Year Sara Groenewegen and Michigan junior shortstop Sierra Romero show off as the Big 10's finest on the list. 

The lone non-Power Five member of the top ten is Shelby Turnier of the University of Central Florida. The nation's leader in ERA with a sub-1.00 mark (0.75 at last check, as a matter of fact), Turnier has put together a campaign worthy of the breakout-star moniker. 

Top 26 finalists noticeably absent from the top ten list include the nation's home run leader, Louisiana-Lafayette's Lexie Elkins; strikeout queen Miranda Kramer of Western Kentucky; UCLA's dual-threat Ally Carda; Georgia star Alex Hugo; LSU's Bianka Bell; and reigning POTY Lacey Waldrop, out of Florida State.

Cut from an original list of twenty-six finalists, the top ten will soon be narrowed to three and the eventual winner will be part of that trio.

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