Kelly Barnhill of the University of Florida, James Madison University’s Megan Good, Sarah Groenewegen from the University of Minnesota and DJ Sanders of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette 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 41 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 2017 Honda Cup which will be presented on a live telecast on CBS Sports Network on Monday, June 26, 2017, 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 this week after voting by administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Each NCAA member institution has a vote.
Barnhill, a sophomore pitcher from Marietta, Ga., was named the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year along with earning espnW Player of the year and Southeast Conference Pitcher of the Year honors. Currently still in action in the Women’s College World Series, Barnhill currently leads the nation in ERA (0.34), hits allowed per seven innings (2.77) and strikeouts per seven innings (13.1) while also ranking third in shutouts (13) and fourth overall in total strikeouts (346).
A junior pitcher from Mount Sidney, Va., Good is a two-time first-team NFCA All-American and was a USA Softball top three finalist for Player of the Year. The three-time Colonial Athletics Association (CAA) Pitcher of the Year, she also earned CAA Player of the Year honors this season to become the first player in the CAA ever to be named both Player and Pitcher of the year in the same season. She leads the nation in victories with a program-record 38 wins on the season.
Groenewegen, hailing from White Rock, B.C, Canada, is a two-time first-team NFCA All-American and a two-time Big Ten Pitcher of the Year. She finished the 2017 season with a 31-4 record and a 0.63 ERA which is the second-lowest in program history. She holds the Gophers all-time record for career no-hitters with eight and has been a four-time All-Big Ten performer and a two-time Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player.
Sanders currently leads the nation in runs per game (1.31), home runs (29), home runs per game (.53), RBI (82), RBI per game (1.49) and slugging percentage (1.013) and led in total bases (162) at the completion of regular season. The junior shortstop from Columbus, Miss., is a first-team NFCA All-American and was the first shortstop from ULL to earn first-team All-American honors. The Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year, she led the Cajuns with 20 multiple-RBI games and committed only one error in 72 chances in conference play.
Honda Sport award winners will be presented with the honor during on-campus presentations throughout the year and all Honda Sport award winners become a finalist for the prestigious 2017 Honda Cup award presented in June.
THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for 41 years, 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 $3.1 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.