WICHITA, Kan. – USA Softball trimmed the list from 25 finalists to 10 for the Collegiate Player of the Year Wednesday morning, and Wichita State senior shortstop Sydney McKinney made the cut.
A top 10 finalist a season ago, McKinney is once again the premiere hitter in college softball. The Norborne, Mo., native leads the country in batting average (.533) and hits (96), and ranks top 10 nationally in runs (71), triples (7), on base percentage (.573) and total bases (135). In 180 at bats this season, McKinney has struck out just seven times. She has logged 820 at bats and struck out a total of 50 times in her collegiate career.
McKinney has cracked the NCAA top 5 all-time hits list with 371 career hits. She is a three-time American Athletic Conference Player of the Week and seeking to become the first player in NCAA history to repeat as both the batting average and hits champ. No player has ever accomplished the feat in back-to-back seasons.
McKinney was named to the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Top 50 Watch List prior to the season before making the cut at 25. Considered the most distinguished individual honor in Division I college softball, the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award recognizes outstanding athletic achievement by Division I female collegiate softball players from across the country.
Highlighted by four pitchers – two of which also contribute offensively – and six position players, the Top 10 Finalists include one graduate student, three seniors, five juniors, and one sophomore representing six NCAA Division I universities and five athletic conferences. The Southeastern Conference (SEC) leads in representation with two member schools, followed by the American Athletic Conference (AAC), Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Big 12 Conference and Pac-12 Conference each with one school apiece. Tabbing three athletes to the list of Finalists is No. 1 ranked Oklahoma, while UCLA and Tennessee are each represented by two athletes, along with Clemson, Florida and Wichita State each with one athlete on the list.
The Top 3 Finalists will be revealed on Wednesday, May 17, followed by the announcement of the 2023 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year prior to the NCAA Women’s College World Series slated for June 1-9 at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex.
Paired with the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, USA Softball is also in its 21st season of presenting the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll, which is released every Tuesday throughout the regular season. Follow along with Division I NCAA Softball all season long at USASoftball.com.