OKLAHOMA CITY, Tenn. (release) -- Tennessee's Annie Aldrete has been named a co-winner of the inaugural NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year trophy, as announced by the NFCA on Tuesday at the NCAA Women's College World Series Student-Athlete Banquet at the Devon Tower in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Aldrete and Auburn's Kasey Cooper were named co-winners and the duo was presented with trophies on Tuesday at Tuesday's banquet. Notre Dame's Karley Wester was a Top 3 finalist for the award. Aldrete, Cooper and Wester were each in attendance at the annual banquet and received recognition for their outstanding freshmen seasons.
Aldrete enjoyed one of the finest seasons, not just for a freshman, of any player in the history of the Tennessee softball program, earning NFCA All-Southeast Region First Team honors and First Team All-SEC honors. She was also an SEC All-Freshman selection and was twice named SEC Freshman of the Week (March 17 and March 31) and played an integral role on Tennessee’s run to the NCAA Super Regionals.
The Monterey, Calif., native finished the season with a .361 batting average, 19 homers, 14 doubles, 65 RBIs, 37 runs, 29 walks, an .813 slugging percentage and a .470 on-base percentage. Aldrete's team-high 19 homers (12 in SEC play) tied Tennessee's single-season record, previously set by Lauren Gibson in 2013, and her 65 RBIs also led the team. Her 65 RBIs, 19 homers and .813 slugging percentage are Tennessee freshman records. The rookie catcher also threw out seven baserunners.
Aldrete was a beast in SEC play, hitting .342 with league highs of 12 homers and 65 total bases. She also ranked second in the conference with 30 RBIs, third with a .890 slugging percentage and eighth (tied) with 20 runs scored.
In 15 games against ranked teams, Aldrete hit .333 (15-for-45) with six homers, four doubles, 17 RBIs, 10 runs, an .822 slugging percentage and a .455 on-base percentage. In 29 games against teams who made the 2014 NCAA Tournament, Aldrete hit .318 (28-for-88) with 11 homers, five doubles, 32 RBIs, 19 runs, a .444 on-base percentage and a .750 slugging percentage.
The NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year award was voted on by the members of the NFCA's Division I All-American & Coaching Staff of the Year Committee. With the Association always searching for innovative ways to promote the sport of softball, the NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year award grew from an idea to honor outstanding athletic achievement among freshman softball student-athletes throughout Division I.
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