OKLAHOMA CITY - Junior Ally Carda has been named a Top Three Finalist for the 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award, as announced by the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and USA Softball on Wednesday.
Carda is joined by Michigan's Sierra Romero and Florida State's Lacey Waldrop as finalists for the award, which will be presented on May 27 at a Women's College World Series banquet in Oklahoma City.
Carda becomes the fourth different Bruin to be named a Top Three Finalist for the Player of the Year award. In 2002, Stacey Nuveman won the inaugural award and was a finalist with teammate Natasha Watley, who was also in the Top Three the following season. In 2010, Megan Langenfeld was a Top Three Finalist for the Player of the Year accolade.
Carda, the Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year and an NFCA All-Region First-Team selection, leads the Bruins with a 1.64 earned run average, a 31-4 record, two saves and 219 strikeouts in 209 2/3 innings. She has appeared in the circle in 43 of the Bruins' 57 games, starting 30 times and throwing 17 complete games, five double-figure strikeout contests and nine solo shutouts to go with four combined blankings.
At the plate, Carda is second on the team with a .388 batting average and 54 runs batted in and third with 13 home runs. She is also first with 66 hits, 16 multiple-hit games and 15 hit by pitches, tied for first with 117 total bases, second with 55 runs scored, 14 multi-RBI contests and a .523 on base percentage, tied for second with a .688 slugging and third with 10 doubles and nine stolen bases.
Carda entered this week tied for fifth in the nation in victories, tied for 18th in shutouts, 30th in ERA and tied for 35th in strikeouts. Offensively, she is tied for 27th in on base percentage, tied for 29th in hit by pitches and runs scored and tied for 35th in runs batted in.
In the Pac-12, the junior ranks in the Top 10 in 14 statistical categories. At the plate, she is first in hit by pitches, fifth in on base percentage and runs, tied for seventh in total bases, tied for eighth in hits and homers, ninth in RBI and 10th in slugging. In the circle, Carda is tied for first in wins and saves, third in strikeouts, fourth in ERA and innings pitched and sixth in opposing batting average (.202).
Carda has started at six different positions for the Bruins, making 30 starts in the circle, 11 at first base, six in left field, five in center, three at designated player and two in right field. She has produced four hitting streaks of at least six games, including a career-high, 13-game stretch from March 9 through April 4. Carda tossed her first career no-hitter in the season opener against Delaware on Feb. 6.
She earned five weekly awards this season. Carda was the Pac-12 Conference Pitcher of the Week three times on Feb. 25, March 25 and May 12, while also receiving USA Softball and NFCA National Player of the Week honors on Feb. 25.
The Bruins host Kentucky this weekend for the NCAA Super Regionals, which start on Saturday at 5 p.m. at Easton Stadium. The best 2-of-3 series continues on Sunday at 12 p.m., with the if necessary contest starting at 3 p.m. All games will be televised live on ESPNU, along with free audio and live stats on UCLABruins.com.
Two-day passes for the Los Angeles Super Regional are available on Ticketmaster, by calling 310-UCLA-WIN or on campus at the UCLA Central Ticket Office (open 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday). Two-day passes are $22 for adults and $15 for students and youths (ages 3-16).
Single-day tickets will be available on the day of the game only at the Easton Stadium ticket office, starting 90 minutes prior to the first pitch. Single-day tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for students and youths (ages 3-16). Two-day passes will also be available at Easton Stadium.
All seats are general admission, first-come, first-served. Gates open 90 minutes prior to the first pitch. Parking is $12 per vehicle in Lot 11 directly across from Easton Stadium. Overflow parking will be directed to the Sunset Canyon Recreation Parking Structure and Lots 4 and 7.