May 21, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- Sophomore Sierra Romero (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta) of the No. 13-ranked University of Michigan softball team is one of three finalists for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, as announced by USA Softball today (Wednesday, May 21).
The Player of the Year will be announced on May 27 before the start of the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla. The other two finalists are UCLA's Ally Carda and Lacey Waldrop of Florida State.
Romero is the only underclassmen on the list, as Carda and Waldrop are both juniors. No Wolverine has ever won the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, now in its 13th year. U-M All-American Jennie Ritter was a top-three finalist in 2005.
Romero was recently named to the NFCA All-Great Lakes Region first team for the second season in a row (May 15). She also was voted to her second consecutive Big Ten Player of the Year award (May 7), and was a unanimous choice for the All-Big Ten first team.
During the regular season, the sophomore slugger led nation in hitting at .510, and amassed the best on-base percentage in the country as well at .646. Her slugging percentage of .930 was third in nation.
During Big Ten play, the shortstop led the conference in hitting (.516), slugging percentage (.968), on-base percentage (.663), runs scored (32) and walks (27). She finished tied for third with seven home runs and fourth in total bases (60). Romero reached base in all 23 Big Ten games, and put together a 10-game hitting streak in the final two weeks of league play.
Romero recently helped Michigan to its 16th regional title by downing No. 4 Arizona State in back-to-back elimination games at the Tempe Regional (May 18). She hit a two-run homer in game one of the doubleheader to help force a second game. She was also a part of Michigan's seventh consecutive Big Ten title in 2014.
Past winners of this award include UCLA's Stacey Nuveman, Florida State's Jessica Van der Linden, three-time winner from Texas Cat Osterman, Tennessee's Monica Abbott, Virginia Tech's Angela Tincher, two-time winner Washington pitcher/hitter Danielle Lawrie, 2011 winner Ashley Hansen from Stanford and 2012 and 2013 back-to-back winner Keilani Ricketts of Oklahoma.
The USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award is voted on by coaching representatives from 11 Division I Conferences in the 15 ASA Regions as well as members of the media who consistently cover Division I Softball across the country, and previous Player of the Year recipients.
The Wolverines begin Super Regional play on Thursday (May 22) against Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m. EDT and the game will be carried live on ESPN.
Top 3 Player of the Year Finalists
Ally Carda, Pitcher, UCLA
Sierra Romero, Infield, Michigan
Lacey Waldrop, Pitcher, Florida State
Contact: Michael Kasiborski