BIRMINGHAM, Ala -- Five student-athletes from the Southeastern Conference are among the 25 finalists for the 2018 Schutt Sports / NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year.
Representing the SEC are Kaylee Tow of Alabama, Mary Haff of Arkansas, Hannah Adams of Florida, Mia Davidson of Mississippi State and Kelsey Oh of South Carolina.
Tow, an outfielder for the Crimson Tide, leads the team in batting average (.369), hits (41), home runs (10), slugging percentage (.739) and on-base percentage (.485). Her 10 home runs are the fifth-most by a freshman in program history and the most since Reagan Dykes finished with 12 during her debut campaign in 2016. Tow is among the top 10 in the SEC in home runs, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and total bases.
Haff, a right-handed pitcher for the Razorbacks, is the first pitcher this season in the SEC to earn 20 wins. She is 20-3 in the circle and owns a 1.07 ERA. In 143.2 innings of work, Haff has struck out 185 batters, placing her second in the SEC behind Florida's Kelly Barnhill. She has also held her opponents to a .137 batting average during her rookie campaign.
Adams, an infielder for the Gators, boasts a .322 batting average with 39 hits, 38 runs scored and 26 RBI. She has tallied eight doubles, two home runs and six stolen bases in 45 games this season. Adams owns a perfect fielding record at second base, recording 94 catches, 37 putouts and 57 assists. She is currently ranked sixth in the conference in walks (30) and eighth in runs scored.
Davidson, a catcher for the Bulldogs, has started all 45 games this season for MSU. She is ranked fourth in the SEC with her .426 batting average and leads the league in slugging percentage (.865), total bases (122) and runners picked off (3). Davidson, who has helped MSU to one of the best starts in program history with a 33-12 overall record, is also in the top 10 in several SEC categories, including second in home runs (39), third in hits (60), tied for fourth in both runs scored (44) and doubles (13).
Oh, a right-handed pitcher for the Gamecocks, has appeared in 23 games and owns a 10-3 record in the circle. She has a team-best 1.49 ERA and has fanned 92 batters in 94.0 innings of work. Oh has held her opponents to a .182 batting average.
The 25 finalists will be narrowed down to 10 and announced on Thursday, May 10. The top three finalists will be selected and released on Wednesday, May 23. The Schutt Sports / NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year trophy will be presented during a live ceremony at the 2018 Women's College World Series banquet on Tuesday, May 29.
The Schutt Sports / NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year award was created in 2014 to honor outstanding athletic achievement among Division I freshmen softball student-athletes. Past recipients of this award from the SEC include Kasey Cooper of Auburn and Annie Aldrete of Tennessee in 2014 and Amanda Lorenz of Florida in 2016.