LOUISVILLE, Ky. - - Eight finalists have been selected for the 107 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division II National Freshman of the Year award and Wilmington University softball's Rosa'Lynn Burton represents the East Region's nomination for the national honor.
There is one finalist from each of the eight regions and the winner will be announced on Wednesday, May 24 at the NCAA Division II Softball Championship Banquet in Salem, Virginia.
This year's eight finalists were all NFCA First Team All-Region selections and included seven-league Freshman of the Year, two Players of the Year, and one Pitcher of the Year in their respective conferences.
The eight finalists are Wilmington's outfielder Rosa'Lynn Burton (East Region), Charleston's catcher Haleigh Christopher (Atlantic Region), Harding's pitcher Autumn Humes (Central Region), Saint Leo's second baseman Kacie Kelly (South Region), Southern Indiana's pitcher Jennifer Leonhardt (Midwest Region), California Baptist's outfielder Caitlyn Lloyd (West Region), North Georgia's pitcher Kylee Smith (Southeast Region), and Colorado Mesa's first baseman AnnMarie Torres (South Central Region).
Burton led the Wildcats and finished second in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference with a .463 batting average, while also pacing the league with 88 hits, 57 runs, and 41 stolen bases, all of which were single season program records for the Wildcats. The CACC Freshman of the Year owns a .500 on-base percentage with 12 doubles, seven triples (which are tied for 10th in the NCAA, and a homer for a .616 slugging percentage.
The award was created in 2015 to honor the outstanding athletic achievement among freshmen softball student-athletes throughout Division II. Dixie State's Janessa Basset was the inaugural recipient and Colorado Christian's Charlotte Romero earned the honor in 2016. This is the first time a Wildcats has been named a finalist for the award.