Oklahoma junior Shelby Pendley has been named one of the 25 finalists for the 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, the Amateur Softball Association of America and USA Softball announced Wednesday.
The award, which is considered the most prestigious honor in Division I women's collegiate softball, is in its 13th year of existence and is designed to recognize the outstanding athletic achievement by female players across the country.
Pendley has consistently been the Sooners' top hitter throughout the 2014 season. She leads the team with a .441 batting average, 42 runs scored, 52 hits, 14 doubles, 12 home runs, 45 runs batted in, 102 total bases and a .538 on-base percentage.
Within the Big 12, Pendley leads the conference in runs, home runs, doubles and slugging percentage. Nationally, she ranks 11th in RBI/game (1.25) and slugging percentage, 13th in home runs and 16th in both home runs/game (0.33) and runs/game (1.11). She also ranks among the top 30 in the country in OBP and doubles/game (0.36).
Pendley has started every game of the season at third base, helping anchor a unit that ranks second nationally with a .980 fielding percentage.
The Rio Rancho, N.M., native added to her repertoire on March 15 when she made her collegiate pitching debut. In 15.0 innings pitched this season, Pendley has struck out 10 and allowed just one earned run for a 0.47 earned run average. She has also made three saves and held opponents to a .130 batting average.
Should Pendley go on to win the Player of the Year Award, it would mark the third consecutive season that an OU player took home the honor as former Sooner Keilani Ricketts was the two-time winner in 2012 and 2013.
Just prior to the start of postseason play, on May 7, the list will be narrowed to the Top 10 Finalists. The Top 3 Finalists will be announced May 21, while the winner of the 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award will be revealed on May 27 prior to the start of the NCAA Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.
The USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award is voted on by coaching representatives from 11 Division I Conferences in the 15 ASA Regions, members of the media who consistently cover Division I Softball across the country and past winners of the award.