LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Mississippi State third baseman Caroline Seitz has been named a Top 25 Finalist for the inaugural National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Freshman of the Year Award. Seitz leads the Bulldogs with a .340 batting average, 49 hits, 18 doubles, three triples, 94 total bases, 15 multiple-hit games and a .653 slugging percentage while standing second with 29 runs batted in.
“This is a great honor for Caroline and our program,” head coach Vann Stuedeman said. “She can be a cornerstone of Mississippi State softball and somebody we can build around. She is a tireless worker, a reliable and steady presence in our lineup and is very coachable.”
Each of this year’s 25 finalists hails from a different university while the group represents 11 Division I leagues across the nation. Both the Southeastern Conference and the Pac-12 Conference picked up the most overall selections with six each, while the Big West Conference garnered three inclusions and the Big Ten Conference and the Atlantic Coast Conference tied with two each. The American Athletic Conference, Big 12 Conference, Sun Belt Conference, Big South Conference, Atlantic Sun Conference and Conference USA each reaped one nod.
Seitz enters this weekend’s series at No. 4/4 Tennessee as the SEC leader in doubles, is tied for fourth in triples, tied for fifth in total bases, 11th in slugging percentage and hits and third in assists (89).
Last Saturday against No. 3/2 Alabama, Seitz drove in the game-winning run with a two-run double to left field in the fifth inning that propelled MSU to a 3-2 victory. Sunday, the Birmingham, Ala., native plated the contest-tying run in the series finale with a fielder’s choice in the 10th frame as the Bulldogs came back for a 4-3, 10-inning victory to win a series versus the Crimson Tide for the first time since 2004.
Seitz set a career high with three hits in game two at No. 21 Auburn and delivered her first home run during an SEC game with a two-run blast that put MSU up 2-0 in the top of the fifth.
During the first weekend of the season, Seitz became the first Mississippi State rookie to hit two home runs during opening weekend since Sam Lenahan and Heidi Shape went deep twice in 2011.
On May 8, the NFCA list will be trimmed down to the top 10 finalists, while the top three finalists will be selected and released May 22. The inaugural NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year trophy will be presented during a live ceremony on May 27, prior to the opening of the annual Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla.NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year – Top 25 Finalists
Ali Aguilar – SS/2B – Washington
Annie Aldrete – DP/C – Tennessee
Maryssa Becker – P/1B – Louisville
Megan Betsa – P – Michigan
Nickie Blue – P – South Carolina
Jessica Burroughs – P – Florida State
Kristen Clark – OF – UCSB
Kasey Cooper – 3B – Auburn
Baylee Corbello – P/UTL – LSU
Tiarra Davis – P/UTL – Texas
Tori Finucane – P – Missouri
Hannah Flippen – 2B – Utah
Taylor Glover – CF/1B – Cal State Northridge
Chelsea Gonzales – 2B/DP – Arizona State
Sara Groenewegen – P/IF – Minnesota
Haley Hayden – OF – Louisiana-Lafayette
Sierra Hyland – P/DP – Cal Poly
Milly Martinet – RF – Campbell
Katiyana Mauga – RF – Arizona
Jill Roye – 1B/DP – Tulsa
Caroline Seitz – 3B – Mississippi State
Lexi Shubert – P – USC Upstate
Kylie Sorenson – SS/3B/P – Stanford
Delaney Spaulding – SS – UCLA
Karley Wester – OF – Notre Dame