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5 Pac-12 stars among 25 finalists for USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award

Apr 20, 2022

For the fourth time in three years, a Pac-12 softball star has a chance to be chosen as the top player in the country. UCLA legend Rachel Garcia won the award in 2018 and 2019. After Oklahoma’s Jocelyn Alo’s earn the selection last year, the award has a good chance to be headed back to the Pac-12 with five of the conference's stars selected as 2022 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Top 25 Finalists.

Yannira Acuña - OF,  Arizona State

Acuña has hit her way into the Player of the Year conversation with her .462 batting average and 23 extra-base hits. The senior had a particularly dominant stretch in late March, in which she collected six hits (including three doubles and a homer) across three games for an otherworldly .750 batting average. She earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors for that virtuoso performance. 

Acuña’s dominance has helped lead No. 13 Arizona State to a perfect 12-0 record in conference play and a 20-game winning streak, the longest active streak in the country.
 

Holly Azevedo - P, UCLA

Half of UCLA's two-headed monster in the circle, Holly Azevedo has been dominant for No. 4 UCLA. Azevedo has pitched her way to 13-2 record and team-best 1.20 ERA. The highlight of the right-hander's season came on March 20 when she tossed her second no-hitter of the season against then-No. 9 Arizona. It was the first no-hitter thrown by a Bruin against a top-10 opponent since 2009.
 

Megan Faraimo - P, UCLA

Azevedo’s co-ace has been just as impressive for the Bruins. Megan Faraimo has compiled a 15-1 record and 1.24 ERA in 25 appearances this year. Her 193 strikeouts are by far the most in the Pac-12.

The redshirt junior has also been valuable out of the bullpen, where she’s recorded a team-high three saves. 

Baylee Klingler - INF, Washington

Baylee Klingler has been a one-woman wrecking ball for the No. 11 Huskies, leading them in almost every offensive category, including homers (18), doubles (10), batting average (.457) and RBI (55).

Klingler is second in the nation in RBI, ninth in batting average and tied for third in homers.

Cydney Sanders - INF, Arizona State

Sanders is one of just two freshmen named to the Top 25 list, but don’t let that fool you. She has slugged her way to a .442 batting average and a team-high 14 big flies. She is also the reigning Pac-12 Freshman of the Week after homering in all three games of the Sun Devils sweep vs. Utah.

With two players on the Top 25 list, Arizona State joins only No. 4 UCLA and No. 1 Oklahoma as teams with multiple selections.