Louisville, Ky. – North Carolina pitcher Brittany Pickett has been chosen as a top-25 Finalist for 2017 Scuhtt Sports/NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year, as selected by members of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). Pickett is the only ACC member to be named on the list of finalists.
Now in its fourth season, the NFCA created the award in 2014 to honor outstanding athletic achievement among freshmen competing in Division I softball. Pickett is the second Tar Heel to be named as a finalist, following teammate Taylor Wike’s 2015 nod.
A two-time ACC Pitcher of the Week honoree, Pickett is enjoying a head-turning freshman campaign, dominating in the circle and at the plate. The Indian Trail, North Carolina, native has become the ace of the Tar Heel pitching staff, securing an unprecedented record of 20-2 with a 1.98 ERA and 113 strikeouts over 155.1 innings pitched. The hard-throwing leftie has been a part of all eight of UNC’s shutouts, with four complete-game shutouts including a pair of three-hitters last week. Used as both a starter and a reliever, Pickett broke UNC’s all-time record with her fifth save against Campbell last month, a mark that ranks second in the nation.
A power-hitter at the plate, Pickett is hitting .325 with a .451 on base percentage and a .624 slugging percentage, ranking second on the team with 10 home runs and 22 walks to go with 24 RBIs. She ranks among Carolina’s best rookies, sitting in third all time among UNC freshmen in slugging percentage, walks and home runs.
On Thursday, May 11, the list will be trimmed down to the top 10 finalists, while the top three finalists will be selected and released on Wednesday, May 24. The Schutt Sports/NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year trophy will be presented during a live ceremony on May 31 prior to the start of the 2017 NCAA Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.
|NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year Finalists|
|Rachel Anderson||Outfield||Southeast Missouri|
|Taryn Atlee||Second Base||Rutgers|
|Sis Bates||Second Base||Washington|
|Amber Bishop||Second Base||Liberty|
|Jenna Cone||Third Base||George Washington|
|Jessie Harper||First Base||Arizona|
|MaKenna Partain||Second Base||Minnesota|
|Brittany Pickett||Pitcher/First Base||North Carolina|
|Takesha Saltern||Outfield||Weber State|
|Olivia Tamewitz||Outfield||Kennesaw State|
|Sami Williams||Second Base||Iowa State|