LOUISVILLE, KY. – Rutgers softball rookie Taryn Atlee has been named a finalist for the 2017 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year award, the organization announced Thursday. The Sacramento, California, native finds her name among the top 25 freshmen in the nation.
“It is a great honor to have Taryn earn the top 25 cut in the Freshman of the Year Award,” said head coach Jay Nelson. “Taryn is the epitome of a team player. She is great to coach and is always looking for ways to improve her game. When things need to be done for the team she doesn’t wait for us to ask, she just does it. This is one example of her humbleness that speaks volumes about her character. That is who she is, a great talent always working to get better and a great teammate always looking to help her teammates.”
Atlee has started all 40 contests as the leadoff hitter in her first season as a Scarlet Knight. The second baseman’s stat line includes a .410 batting average, 55 hits, seven doubles, four triples and a home run. Atlee ranks third in the Big Ten in batting average, and is second in hits and triples. She also sits sixth with a .436 average in league games only.
Highlighting her freshman campaign, Atlee reached base in 11 consecutive plate appearances from March 24-29, tied for seventh in the NCAA DI Softball Record Book. She also boasted eight consecutive hits during the streak.
"It's a great honor to be able to represent my team, the University, and the Big Ten," said Atlee. "It's a testament to the dedication and passion I have for softball. This recognition only encourages me to continue to work hard."
The award was created in 2014 from an idea to honor outstanding athletic achievement among Division I freshmen softball student-athletes. On Thursday, May 11, the list will be trimmed down to the top 10 finalists, while the top three finalists will be selected and released on Wednesday, May 24. The Schutt Sports / NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year trophy will be presented during a live ceremony on May 31.
NFCA DIVISION I NATIONAL FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR FINALISTS
Rachel Anderson Outfield Southeast Missouri State University
Caylan Arnold Pitcher Tennessee
Taryn Atlee Second Base Rutgers
Maggie Balint Pitcher Oregon
Alyssa Barrera Outfield Utah
Sis Bates Second Base Washington
Amber Bishop Second Base Liberty
Braxton Burnside Shortstop Missouri
Jenna Cone Third Base George Washington
Alyssa Denham Pitcher Louisiana
Rachel Garcia Pitcher/DP UCLA
Jessie Harper First Base Arizona
Bailey Hemphill DP/C Alabama
Ryan Jackson Outfield Bethune-Cookman
Kendyl Lindaman Catcher Minnesota
Mariah Lopez Pitcher Oklahoma
Shelby McGlaun DP/Pitcher Baylor
Dejah Mulipola Catcher Arizona
Alyssa Palomino Outfield Arizona
MaKenna Partain Second Base Minnesota
Brittany Pickett Pitcher/First Base North Carolina
Linda Rush Shortstop Drexel
Takesha Saltern Outfield Weber State
Olivia Tamewitz Outfield Kennesaw State
Sami Williams Second Base Iowa State
The full release of the finalists can be found here.
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