Jan. 28, 2015
TUSCALOOSA, Ala . - Alabama junior Haylie McCleney was named to the Top 50 “Watch List” for the 2015 USA Softball Player of the Year, marking the second straight season in which she qualified for the prestigious list.
McCleney was a Top 10 finalist for the award last season and is one of 18 juniors on this season’s list. She is also one of eight players on the list who will play for Team USA this summer. A total of eight SEC schools are represented with a combined total of 13 student-athletes on the list. Arizona leads all schools with four representatives, followed by Georgia, Michigan, Oklahoma and Oregon with three each.
This year’s list includes 26 seniors, 18 juniors and six sophomores. Freshmen are ineligible for the initial Top 50 “Watch List”, though they can be added for consideration for the Top 25, which is announced on April 8. From there, it is narrowed down to a Top 10 on May 6 and a Top 3 on May 20. The winner will be announced at the Women’s College World Series team banquet on May 26.
A native of Morris, Ala., McCleney followed up her stellar 2013 debut season with an even more impressive sophomore campaign in 2014. She was named a NFCA First Team All-American and Capital One Academic All-American, making her just the seventh player in school history to earn both awards in the same season. She was a Top 10 Finalist for the USA Softball Player of the Year award, leading the team with a .444 average, .556 on-base percentage and 70 runs scored. She started 65 games in center field, reaching base safely in all but one of those games. Her career batting average (.454) and on-base percentage (.548) are both currently school records, while she ranks second in career stolen base percentage (.941) and third in career slugging percentage (.674). McCleney is the sixth player in Alabama history to earn All-American honors in her first two seasons and is just the third to earn First Team honors in her sophomore season.