FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas softball infielder Braxton Burnside and pitcher Mary Haff have both been named Top 25 Finalists for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, the organization announced Wednesday. The Razorbacks are one of just five programs (Alabama, Oklahoma, UCLA and Washington) to place two players on the prestigious list.
Burnside is tied for the nation’s lead with 23 home runs this season and is fourth in the country and the SEC leader collected 50 RBI. The shortstop blew away the Razorbacks’ program single-season home run record this year, and her 23 home runs rank sixth-most in a single season in SEC history. Burnside is also second in the SEC totaling 123 total bases and a .961 slugging percentage. For the season, the Paragould, Ark. native is hitting .377/.428/.783 and has also doubled six times and drawn a team-best 32 walks. Burnside earned SEC Player of the Week honors twice this season.
Haff’s 20 victories are tied for fourth-most in the country, and her 153 strikeouts rank 19th. The Winter Haven, Fla. native has posted a 1.38 ERA in 142.1 innings of work while limiting opponents to a .186 batting average. Additionally, Haff has registered five saves, which ranks second in the SEC and fourth nationally. Earlier this year, Haff threw her second career no-hitter against Texas Tech and garnered SEC Player of the Week recognition. Her 1.61 career ERA is the best mark in school history.
The list of 25 Finalists will be narrowed to 10 Finalists on May 5 before the Top 3 Finalists will be announced on May 19. The 2021 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be revealed prior to the 2021 NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS), which is set to take place June 3-9 at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex.
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