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Faraimo, Garcia Named Finalists for USA Softball Player of the Year Award

Apr 23, 2021
Sophomore Megan Faraimo and senior Rachel Garcia.

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Senior Rachel Garcia and sophomore Megan Faraimo were named two of 25 finalists for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, as announced on Friday.

The USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, which is considered the most prestigious honor in Division I women's collegiate softball, recognizes the outstanding athletic achievement by Division I female players across the country.

Garcia has won each of the last two POY awards handed out in 2018 and 2019. In addition, Bruin alum Stacey Nuveman was the first recipient in 2002.

Garcia is one of 13 seniors or graduate seniors among the Top 25 finalists, while Faraimo is the lone sophomore. UCLA is tied with Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Washington with two finalists each.

The list of 25 finalists will be narrowed to 10 on May 5 before the Top 3 are announced on May 19. The 2021 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be revealed prior to the Women's College World Series.

Garcia leads the Bruins with both a 0.47 earned run average and a .408 batting average. She is 7-0 in the circle with 78 strikeouts in 45 innings, adding six home runs and 14 runs batted in at the plate. Garcia ranks third in the nation in ERA, sixth in hits allowed per seven innings (2.96) and 14th in strikeout-to-walk ratio (14th, 7.80). She has allowed zero or one run in all 11 of her appearances, has three double-figure strikeout games and pitched a no-hitter in her most recent start last Friday against Oregon State. At the plate, Garcia has hits in 18 of her 19 games. Garcia has been named Pac-12 Conference Pitcher of the Week twice this season (March 23 and April 19) and Pac-12 Player of the Week on April 12.

Faraimo is the team leader in wins with 11 and strikeouts with 114, boasting a 0.86 ERA in 73 1/3 innings. Of her 10 starts, she has gone the distance seven times, tossing four shutouts, including a perfect game on Feb. 24. In her last start, Faraimo set a new career high in strikeouts with 17 against Oregon State last Saturday. It was her fifth double-figure strikeout game of the season. Faraimo has allowed zero or one earned run in 12 of her 15 appearances. Nationally, she ranked second in strikeout-to-walk ratio (14.25), seventh in hits allowed per seven innings (7th, 3.05), ninth in ERA and 11th in walks allowed per seven innings (0.76).

The second-ranked Bruins host No. 3 Washington this weekend in a four-game series. The first contest is Friday at 7 p.m. at Easton Stadium, and will air on Pac-12 Network National and Los Angeles.