OKLAHOMA CITY — USA Softball announced today the Top 3 Finalists for the 2023 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. The award is considered the most prestigious honor in Division I college softball and recognizes outstanding athletic achievement among Division I softball players across the country.
Previous recipients of the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award include Stacey Nuveman (UCLA – 2002), Cat Osterman (2003, 2005, 2006 – Texas), Jessica Van der Linden (Florida State – 2004), Monica Abbott (2007 – Tennessee), Angela Tincher (2008 – Virginia Tech), Danielle Lawrie (2009, 2010 – Washington), Ashley Hansen (Stanford – 2011), Keilani Ricketts (2012, 2013 – Oklahoma), Lacey Waldrop (2014 – Florida State), Lauren Haeger (2015 – Florida), Sierra Romero (2016 – Michigan), Kelly Barnhill (2017 – Florida), Rachel Garcia (2018, 2019 – UCLA) and Jocelyn Alo (2021, 2022 – Oklahoma).
Represented by three juniors from three NCAA Division I universities and athletic conferences, the Top 3 Finalists for the 2023 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year include Clemson’s Valerie Cagle (ACC), UCLA’s Maya Brady (Pac-12) and Florida’s Skylar Wallace (SEC) — each of which will take the stage at regional play this weekend.
As the 2023 Pac-12 Player of the Year, Maya Brady proves to be a force at the plate with a conference leading .458 batting average — which also ranks sixth in the nation – while placing among the Top 10 in five additional categories including total bases (2nd — 148), runs per game (7th — 1.12 RPG), slugging percentage (7th — .892), RBIs (9th — 59 RBI) and home runs (10th – 18 HR). Brady is also recognized as a three-time All-Pac-12 honoree while earning four Pac-12 Player of the Week selections.
Among the nation’s top two-way players in NCAA DI softball, Valerie Cagle has etched her way on the nationwide leaderboard in both pitching and hitting with a .457 batting average, .889 slugging percentage and 23 wins in the circle – a feat that places her at No. 11 on the NCAA leaderboard. Making history during the 2023 season, Cagle set a new single-season record for the Tigers with 18 home runs while remaining dominant on defense with a 23-5 record and a 1.20 ERA through 169 innings pitched.
Three-time SEC Player of the Week and 2023 SEC Player of the Year, Skylar…