Lexie Elkins from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, James Madison University’s Megan Good,Haylie McCleney of the University of Alabama and the University of Michigan’s Sierra Romero are the four nominees for the Honda Sport Award for softball as announced by Chris Voelz, Executive Director of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) today.
The Honda Sport Award has been presented annually by the CWSA for the past 40 years to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA- sanctioned sports and signifies “the best of the best in collegiate athletics”. The winner of the sport award becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2016 Honda Cup which will be presented on a live telecast on CBS Sports Network on June 27, 2016, in the Founders’ Room at the Galen Center on the campus of the University of Southern California in downtown Los, Angeles.
The nominees were chosen by a panel of coaches representing the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). The Honda Sport award winner for softball will be announced next week after voting by administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Each NCAA member institution has a vote.
Elkins, a senior catcher from Victoria, Texas, is a three-time NFCA All-American. She is just the third player in school history to be named an All-American three consecutive seasons (2014-16) and the first to receive back-to-back first-team honors since 1995-96. She is the first-ever three-time Sun Belt Conference Student-Athlete of the Year and was named a Top 10 finalist for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award and the NFCA/Diamond Sports Division I Catcher of the Year. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NPF draft, she is also the first player in program history to finish a season with a .500-plus average (.509).
Good is a pitcher from Mount Sidney, Va., and has been named to the NFCA All-American team in back-to-back seasons, including a first-team selection this year as a sophomore. A 2016 USA Softball Top-10 Player of the Year finalist, she has also been twice named the CAA Pitcher of the Year and to the All-CAA First-Team. She threw the program’s second ever perfect game this April and recorded a season-best 13 strikeouts in a one-hitter earlier in the month. She led the nation in wins with 32 and broke JMU's single-season wins (32), ERA (0.94) and shutouts (10) records.
A senior outfielder from Morris, Ala., McCleney was recently named the 2016 Senior CLASS Award winner and is a four-time NFCA All-American with three straight seasons on the first-team. She is also a two-time Academic All-American of the Year and three-time First-Team Academic All-American. On the field, she is Alabama’s career leader in batting average (.447), on-base percentage (.570), walks (198) and triples (16) and owns top-five marks in runs (2nd, 279), stolen base percentage (2nd, .944), slugging percentage (3rd, .690), hits (4th, 310) and stolen bases (5th, 118). She led her team to the 2016 NCAA Women’s College World Series.
Hailing from Murrietta, Calif., Romero is a senior second baseman and was chosen as the 2016 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. A four-time NFCA All-America selection, including three first-team nods, she is the first player in NCAA softball history to record 300 runs, 300 hits and 300 RBI in her career. In addition, she owns NCAA records in career runs (300) and grand slams (11). The three-time Big Ten Player of the Year leads the nation with 1.38 RBI per game and ranks among national leaders in 2016 with a .465 batting average, .916 slugging percentage and .585 on-base percentage entering the 2016 NCAA Women’s College World Series.
The CWSA, celebrating its 40th year, has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $3.0 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.