Rachel Garcia Named NFCA Player of the Year
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Senior Rachel Garcia has been named the 2021 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division I National Player of the Year, as announced by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association on Friday.
It marks the second time Garcia has earned NFCA National POY accolades after picking up the award in 2018, and her third yearly NFCA honor (National Pitcher of the Year in 2019). The Schutt Sports/NFCA National Player of the Year award was first handed out in 2016, while the first Pitcher of the Year accolade was given in 2019, with the awards voted on by members of the NFCA's NCAA DI All-American Committee.
Garcia earned numerous awards in her senior season, including NFCA First Team All-American and All-Region, Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year and All-Pac-12 First Team, Senior CLASS Award winner and Top 3 finalist for USA Softball POY. She went 18-3 with a 1.39 earned run average and 183 strikeouts in 136 1/3 innings, while adding a .342 batting average, 13 home runs and 35 runs batted in.
The senior, who will be going for gold with Team USA Softball next month in Tokyo, appeared in 29 games, making 18 starts. She posted 12 complete games, seven solo shutouts and two saves, limiting opponents to a .183 batting average. At the plate, Garcia had a team-best .708 slugging percentage and .473 on base percentage, was second with 30 walks, third in average and tied for third in homers. A three-time Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week and two-time Pac-12 Player of the Week, Garcia allowed zero or one earned run in 25 of her 29 appearances, reaching double figures in strikeouts seven times. She pitched the second no-hitter of her career on April 16 at Oregon State. At the plate, she had hits in 34 of her 45 games.