With a fast transition to college softball, and big numbers to match, Emma Nedley has proven she is one of the top freshmen in the Ivy League.
But now the Penn outfielder is on a ballot to be considered the nation’s top newcomer.
Nedley, a Penn-Trafford graduate, is one of 25 Division I players up for the Schutt Sports/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Freshman of the Year Award. She is the first player from Penn to make the list and just the second to be selected in the Ivy League since 2014, the year the award debuted.
“I never thought this was possible, there are so many amazing softball players in the NCAA,” Nedley said. “I am so grateful for the game and all of the opportunities it has given me. I’m excited to keep this season going with my teammates as we focus on putting ourselves in position for an Ivy League title.”
Nedley has started all 32 games for the Quakers (18-14, 9-6) and leads the team in hits (39), runs (21) and home runs (5). Her .379 average and .631 slugging percentage leads all freshmen in the league.
The top freshman list will be pared down to 10 players on May 9. Three finalists will be announced May 21. And the winner will be announced May 28 at the NCAA Women’s College World Series.
“This is a great honor for Emma,” Penn coach Leslie King said in a release. “She not only has tremendous talent, but the work ethic to go with it. It’s also great for the League. The rest of the country can now see the type of athletes that are coming to study and play softball in the Ivy League.”
Saint Vincent: New Bearcats assistant coach Nate Bollinger was added to the National Association of Basketball Coaches Under Armour 30-under-30 Team.
Bollinger is the first coach from the PAC to make the list, which touts the country’s top rising coaches under age 30.
The York native spent the last three years at High Point, a Division I program in North Carolina, where he served as director of player development. High Point won the Big South regular-season title and earned a berth into the National Invitation Tournament.
He also coached one season at York, a Division III program.
Bollinger is a former PSAC player. He graduated from Millersville in 2014 after transferring from Delaware Valley. He was a proficient scorer at both places.
Seton Hill: Junior guard Nate Davis was a PSAC Winter Top Ten award winner. The award recognizes the conference’s top athletes who excel in athletics and academics. Davis led the Griffins in scoring at 19.2 points per game and carries a 3.95 GPA.
Cal (Pa.): Sophomore Alexa Pastor (Hempfield) has started all 28 games for the Vulcans (10-18, 6-6) and is hitting .231 with seven runs scored.
Dominican (N.Y.): Freshman Maddie Uschock (Hempfield), last year’s Tribune-Review Westmoreland Player of the Year, is the No. 1 pitcher for the Chargers (18-17, 13-7 CACC). She has a 9-10 record with a 2.73 ERA with 80 strikeouts and 39 walks in 113 innings.
IUP: Freshman Bethany Bunner (Southmoreland) is batting .234 with 12 runs and nine RBIs for the Crimson Hawks (14-23-1, 9-5 PSAC). Another freshman, Karly Kovatch (Latrobe), has made 18 starts. She is hitting .204 with three doubles and six RBIs.
Slippery Rock: Redshirt freshman Adeline Nicholson (Southmoreland) had two hits and three RBIs to help lead the Rock to a 12-6 win over IUP. She leads SRU in home runs (4) and RBIs (24).
La Roche: Reining Tribune-Review Westmoreland Player of the Year Tre Cunningham (Jeannette) has seven mound appearances and one start this season for the Redhawks (17-10, 10-2 AMCC). The freshman is 0-3 with six strikeouts and eight walks in seven innings.
Washington & Jefferson: Senior outfielder Cole Reese (Greensburg Central Catholic) had made a career-best five starts and is hitting .231 for the Presidents (20-9, 15-1 PAC). He has a pair of doubles and two RBIs.
Men’s track & field
St. Bonaventure: Freshman Elias Kott (Derry) won the 800-meter run in 2 minutes, 3.90 seconds, a new personal best and the third-fastest time in program history, at the Alfred Invitational.
Women’s track & field
Grove City: Senior Elizabeth Donahoe (Franklin Regional) ran a leg of the winning 3,200-meter relay team at the Grove City Mini Meet. She ran leadoff as the team finished in 9 minutes, 55.36 seconds.
Seton Hill: The Griffins (7-6) checked in at fourth in the first NCAA Atlantic Regional rankings.