LOUISVILLE, Ky. - UCLA's Delaney Spaulding has been named a Top 10 Finalist for the inaugural National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) National Freshman of the Year Award, as announced on Thursday.
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.
Ten different schools represent the finalists, which hail from six different conferences. The list will be trimmed to the top three on May 22, with the inaugural NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year trophy presented on May 27 prior to the start of the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.
The Bruins are one of three teams, along with Michigan and Tennessee, to have players represented on both the National Freshman of the Year and National Player of the Year Top 10 lists. Junior Ally Carda was named a Top 10 Finalist for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award on Wednesday.
Spaulding leads the Bruins with 53 runs scored, 12 doubles, three triples and 17 stolen bases, adding a .361 batting average, six home runs and 40 runs batted in. She is also tied for first with two sacrifice flies, second with 37 walks and six sacrifice hits, tied for second with 52 hits and tied for third with a .500 on base percentage.
The freshman is tied for second on the team with 12 multiple-hit games, adding eight multi-RBI contests. She reached base in each of her first 23 collegiate games and had a 13-game hitting streak (Feb. 7-23) to go with a 10-game streak from April 15 to May 2. Spaulding has posted four different hitting streaks of at least six games this season.
The second-ranked Bruins head to #3 Arizona State for a three-game series starting on Thursday at 7 p.m. and continuing Friday at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday at 3:30 p.m. All three contests will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks.