*Courtesy Auburn Media Relations
AUBURN, Ala. – Freshman third baseman Kasey Cooper has been named a Top 10 Finalist for the National Fastpitch Coaches’ Association’s inaugural Division I National Freshman of the Year Award. The award will be presented prior to the start of the 2014 NCAA Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Cooper has had one of the best seasons in Auburn history by not only a freshman, but any player that has come through its program. She is currently third on the team in batting average (.408) and is one of only three Auburn players this season to have a batting average of .400 or higher.
Kasey Cooper has led the team in multiple offensive categories throughout the course of this season including: average, hits, home runs, RBI, slugging and runs scored. Currently, Cooper is second on the team in runs (66), tied for the team lead in hits (64) and leads the squad in home runs (16). With only seven strike outs this season, Cooper is one of the toughest batters to strike out.
Cooper won two SEC Freshman of the Week awards this season, becoming the first Auburn Tiger to do so since 2007 and currently has the highest batting average in the SEC among freshman. She’s ninth in the conference in average, second in runs scored (66), fourth in total bases (120), fifth in slugging (.754), second in RBI (70) and tied for third in home runs (16).
With her performance so far this season, Cooper has already set two Auburn freshman single-season records for home runs and RBI. The record was last set by Tatiana Fernandez who had eight home runs and 41 RBI in the 2006 season. Cooper is also on pace to set the AU freshman record for batting average in a season, which is currently held by sophomore Emily Carosone after she batted .389 last season.
Cooper joined teammate Branndi Melero in breaking the previous single-season Auburn record for RBI in a season and Cooper is only one home run away from tying the school single-season record for home runs last set by Holly Currie (2005) and Ashley Moore (2002).
The NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year award was created from an idea to honor outstanding athletic achievement among freshmen softball student-athletes throughout Division I. On May 8, the list will be trimmed down to the Top 10 finalists, while the Top 3 finalists will be selected and released on May 22. The inaugural NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year trophy will be presented during a live ceremony on May 27 prior to the opening of the annual WCWS.
To see the full list of finalists, click here.
Auburn gets back on the field tonight in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament and will face off with Alabama for only the second time this season. The Tigers won their last meeting with the Crimson Tide earlier this year in Montgomery, Ala., 6-2. First pitch for Thursday’s matchup in Columbia is set for 5:30 p.m. and will be televised on ESPNU.
The game can also be heard on WEGL 91.1 and on AuburnTigers.com. Live stats for the game can also be found on AuburnTigers.com softball schedule page.