Thursday, May 21, 2015

Top 3 Finalists for Player of the Year Announced

The trio of finalists for the National Player of the Year award were announced yesterday; Florida's Lauren Haeger, Michigan's Sierra Romero, and Oregon's Cheridan Hawkins will vie for the trophy.

This is the final whittling-down of the list of finalists that once spanned twenty-six names; after being narrowed down to ten and now three, a winner will be named on May 26.
Photo courtesy ASA/USA Softball

The SEC Pitcher of the Year, Haeger took a perfect win-loss record into the SEC tournament before taking her first defeat of the season against Tennessee. She boasts a 1.34 ERA on the year and 183 pitching strikeouts. Offensively, she is an equally-dangerous weapon, with a .335 batting average and fifteen home runs on the season. She set and holds the SEC's career home runs mark with sixty-seven, as well as five Gator program records.

Hawkins won her 2nd-consecutive Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year honor following this season, during which she posted a 29-3 record and a 1.40 ERA. A first-team all-conference selection, she leads the PAC in wins, ERA, and opponent's batting average (an incredible .136).

Romero earned all-Big Ten first-team honors for the third consecutive season, amidst a year that saw her record a stat line of .474/21/78. She is a top-three finalist for the award for the second year in a row. In last week's regional round of games, Romero set new program records in both home runs and RBIs, and holds the single-season team records for RBIs and runs scored. She is second in the nation in on-base percentage with a .628 number.

Noticeably and glaringly absent from the final trio are Lauren Chamberlain and Shelby Pendley; the Oklahoma senior duo were alternately thought to be the favorite for the award, but neither made it out of the top ten despite impressive seasons.

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