May 9, 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Freshman pitcher Megan Betsa (McDonough, Ga./Union Grove) of the No. 10-ranked University of Michigan softball team is one of 10 finalists for the inaugural NFCA Division I Freshman of the Year award, as announced by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
In the first year of the honor, Betsa is one of two freshmen from the Big Ten to earn inclusion on the exclusive list.
The right-handed pitcher has posted a 15-3 record with an earned-run average of 1.90 through her first 51 collegiate games. Her ERA is currently third best among all Big Ten pitchers. She has 25 appearances, 11 complete games and five shutouts to her credit. She threw the 38th no-hitter in U-M history when she held Detroit hitless on April 2.
Since not throwing a pitch in Michigan's three-game series at Penn State (March 28-29), Betsa has been locked in, compiling a 9-0 record over the past six weeks. Three times in that stretch, Betsa pitched the Wolverines to a win following a Michigan loss (at Purdue on April 23, at Illinois on April 26, and vs. Wisconsin on May 3). The righty has two wins over ranked opponents this season (at No. 25 USF, vs. No. 12 Minnesota).
Betsa is striking out better than a batter per inning, with 125 strikeouts in 103.0 innings pitched. She has five games of 10 or more punch outs (13 vs. Central Arkansas, 11 at Florida Atlantic, 10 vs. Ohio State, 11 vs. Minnesota, and 10 vs. Wisconsin).
The freshman was recently named to the All-Big Ten second team, on the strength of her 7-0 record and 1.92 ERA during league play. Twice she was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week (Feb. 18, Feb. 24).
The list of 10 finalists will be trimmed to the final three on 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.
The Wolverines will open up play in the Big Ten tournament on Friday (May 9) as the No. 1 overall seed against Illinois in Evanston, Ill. First pitch at the Sharon J. Drysdale Field is slated for 4:30 p.m. CDT. The game will be carried live on the Big Ten Network
Top 10 NFCA Division I Freshman of the Year Finalists
Annie Aldrete, DP/C, Tennessee
Megan Betsa, P, Michigan
Kasey Cooper, 3B, Auburn
Tori Finucane, P, Missouri
Sara Groenewegen, P/IF, Minnesota
Haley Hayden, OF, Louisiana-Lafayette
Sierra Hyland, P/DP, Cal Poly
Katiyana Mauga, RF, Arizona
Delaney Spaulding, SS, UCLA
Karley Wester, OF, Notre Dame
Contact: Michael Kasiborski