April 9, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and USA Softball have announced its Top 25 Finalists for the 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, and Alabama’s Haylie McCleney and Jaclyn Traina are among those to qualify.
Alabama and Tennessee are the only SEC schools to qualify any players to the Top 25 and, with two finalists each, they join Arizona State, Florida State, Michigan Minnesota, Oregon, South Alabama and Tulsa as the only teams with two finalists. Arizona, Baylor, Oklahoma, South Florida, Texas, UCLA and Western Illinois have one finalist each.
McCleney is one of just three sophomores on the list, making the cut with a team-leading .495 batting average that ranks fifth nationally. As the team’s leadoff hitter, she owns a .624 on-base percentage which ranks second nationally, only trailing Michigan’s Sierra Romero (.636). She leads the team in nearly every offensive statistic, earning 50 runs, 54 hits, 32 RBI, 38 walks and 23 stolen bases. She owns a career .476 average and .573 on-base percentage and, though she is just six at-bats shy of the minimum requirement, both would be school records by a large margin.
Traina has further solidified herself as one of the nation’s top aces in the circle, owning a 15-2 record with 118 strikeouts over 116.0 innings pitched. Since a loss to McNeese on Feb. 23, she has won 12-consecutive starts, including a win over then-No. 9 Florida State and two wins over then-No. 1 Florida in Gainesville. Over those 12 starts, she has shut out three opponents and has not allowed any to score more than three earned runs. She owns a perfect 10-0 conference record this year with a 1.52 ERA in SEC play. She is just three wins shy of surpassing Stephanie VanBrakle (97, 2003-06) on Alabama’s career records to move to third all-time.
The list will be narrowed down starting next month, with the Top 10 Finalists announced on May 7, the Top 3 on May 21 and the winner on May 27, prior to the start of the Women’s College World Series.
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