A Look Back: Most Outstanding Players at the WCWS
The Women's College World Series (WCWS) began in 1982 as the final segment of the NCAA Softball Championship. The Most Outstanding Player of the WCWS is awarded to the student-athlete with the best individual performance at the completion of the Championship Series. Here is a look back the student-athletes from programs within the Southeastern Conference who were selected as the WCWS Most Outstanding Player:
Kristin Schmidt, LSU - 2004
Schmidt pitched in nearly every inning that the Tigers competed in during the 2004 Women's College World Series. Starting off with a 3-2 13-inning win over Michigan, she struck out 13 and allowed only one walk among the 47 batters she faced. The following day, Schmidt dropped a 2-0 decision to UCLA, fanning six batters in the complete-game outing. She then went the distance again and struck out 13 batters in the 2-1 victory over Florida State. LSU moved on to the semifinals to take on California, and Schmidt improved to 38-6 in the circle with a 4-1 win to force the if necessary game. In game two against the Bears, she pitched 6.2 innings and struck out four in the 4-1 loss. For the WCWS, Schmidt recorded a 1.72 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 40.2 innings pitched.
Michelle Moultrie, Florida - 2011
The Gators competed in seven games at the 2011 Women's College World Series, including two against Arizona State in the Championship Series. In that stretch, Moultrie posted a .542 batting average, 13 hits (including two doubles and four home runs), nine runs scored, seven RBI and three stolen bases. In the Championship Series against the Sun Devils, the junior centerfielder went 2-for-6 with two runs scored, a double, a home run and two walks. Moultrie shared the award with Dallas Escobedo of Arizona State, the only set of co-Most Outstanding Players in WCWS history.
Jaclyn Traina, Alabama - 2012
Traina was in the circle for every pitch in Oklahoma City as the Crimson Tide claimed their first National Title in program history. In the second round against defending champion Arizona State, the sophomore pitcher struck out 11 batters en route to a 2-1 victory and Alabama earning a spot in the semifinals. For the week, Traina owned a 3.00 ERA and struck out 45 batters in 42 innings pitched. Offensively, she batted .400 (6-15) and tallied six RBI, three runs scored, one double and one home run. Traina recorded 42 wins during the 2012 season, the program record for most individual wins in a single season.
Hannah Rogers, Florida - 2014
Rogers was integral in Florida's five consecutive wins at the Women's College World Series as the Gators won their first National Title. In the circle, she went 4-0 and also earned the save in the second and deciding game of the Championship Series against Alabama. Three of her four wins were complete-game shutouts. For the week, Rogers owned a 1.00 ERA in 28 innings pitched and tallied 13 strikeouts to close out her senior campaign.
Lauren Haegar, Florida - 2015
Haegar helped the Gators become the third program in NCAA history to win back-to-back National Titles. The senior pitcher went 4-1 in 36.0 innings pitched and recorded a 1.17 ERA and 20 strikeouts. In addition, she batted .571 (8-14) and registered five runs scored, seven RBI, a double, three home runs and six walks. Haegar was the third student-athlete to be named the WCWS Most Outstanding Player and the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year in the same season. She also became the first athlete since Babe Ruth to record 70 victories and 70 home runs in their career.