Meoño, Palacios Named to Freshman of the Year Top 30
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Two Wildcat freshmen, Janelle Meoño and Sharlize Palacios, have been named to the 2021 Schutt Sports/NFCA D1 National Freshman of the Year Top 30, the NFCA announced on Thursday.
Arizona is one of three schools to have multiple players on the list, joining Oklahoma and South Dakota State, who have two freshmen apiece.
Meoño and Palacios have proven themselves as not only two of the top freshmen in the Pac-12, but two of the top players overall.
Meoño, a redshirt freshman from Hacienda Heights, California, leads the Pac-12 with a .453 batting average, third highest in the country among all freshmen. She has at least one hit in 33 of the 34 games she has recorded an at-bat in this season, including 25 consecutive, the fifth longest active hitting streak by a freshman in NCAA history. She is trying to become the first player in Arizona freshman in school history to hit over .450 in a season and the first player overall since Brittany Lastrapes in 2009.
Palacios, a redshirt freshman from Chula Vista, California, is tied for the team lead with 14 home runs this season, fourth most among all freshmen in the NCAA. She is hitting. 376, fourth highest average on the team and ninth best in the Pac-12, while her .789 slugging percentage is second on the team and fourth highest in the Pac-12 -- best among all freshmen. Palacios already ranks tied for 10th in Arizona history for home runs by a freshman (14) and is just outside the top 10 in RBI by a freshman with 41.
On May 13, the list will be trimmed down to the top 10 and the three finalists will be released on May 27. The 2021 Schutt Sports / NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year will be announced on June 1.
Meoño, Palacios and the Wildcats are back in action this weekend when they host California for a two-game series Saturday and Sunday.