Burnside & Haff named Top 10 finalists for USA Softball Player of the Year
Arkansas softball pitcher Mary Haff and infielder Braxton Burnside have both been named Top 10 Finalists for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award, the organization announced Wednesday. The Razorbacks are one of just three programs (Oklahoma and Washington) to place two players on the prestigious list.
Burnside is second in the country with 24 home runs this season, and fifth nationally and tied for the SEC lead with teammate Danielle Gibson registering 51 RBI. The shortstop blew away the Razorbacks’ program single-season home run record this year, and her 24 home runs rank fifth-most in a single season in SEC history. Burnside is also second in the SEC totaling 128 total bases and a .895 slugging percentage. For the season, the Paragould, Ark. native is hitting .347/.497/.889 and has also doubled six times and drawn a team-best 36 walks. Burnside earned SEC Player of the Week honors twice this season.
Haff’s 22 victories are tied for fifth-most in the country, and her 174 strikeouts rank 23rd. The Winter Haven, Fla. native has posted a 1.61 ERA in 170.0 innings of work while limiting opponents to a .192 batting average. Additionally, Haff has registered five saves, which ranks third in the SEC and fifth nationally. Earlier this year, Haff threw her second career no-hitter against Texas Tech, and garnered SEC Pitcher of the Week recognition two times. Her 74 career wins are the most in program history.
Both Haff and Burnside were instrumental in the Razorbacks securing the program’s first SEC regular season championship this season.
The Top 3 Finalists will be announced on Wednesday, May 19 before the 2021 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year is virtually revealed on June 1 prior to the 2021 NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS), which will take place at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex June 3-9. Additional information on the reveal will be announced at a later date.
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