Oklahoma Duo Among Three Finalists for National Freshman of the Year Award

Jayda Coleman, Tiare Jennings have helped carry the Sooners' record setting offense throughout the 2021 college softball season.
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Jayda Coleman and Tiare Jennings have been named two of the three finalists for the Division I National Freshman of the Year Award.

The National Fastpitch Coaches Association and Schutt Sports announced the finalists on Thursday. Clemson's Valerie Cagle is the third finalist up for the award.

Jayda Coleman, Tiare Jennings

Jayda Coleman, Tiare Jennings

Coleman, who was named First Team All-Big 12, is hitting .478 this season with 46 RBIs, eight home runs and 19 stolen bases. 

Coleman has started every game either in the Sooner outfield or at first base. Going into this weekend's Norman Super Regional against Washington, Coleman has a team-best .584 on-base percentage, with 31 walks against just eight strikeouts. Last year's Gatorade National High School Player of the Year at The Colony, TX, enjoyed a 19-game hit streak this season and has now been on base in 41 consecutive games. Her 19 stolen bases leads the team, and her 67 hits ranks second.

Jennings, who was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year, also a top-10 finalist for USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. She's second in the nation with 25 home runs and a nation-leading 84 RBIs.

In addition to batting .488, her on-base percentage is .536 and her slugging percentage is 1.067. The San Pedro, CA, product has homered in 21 of OU's 50 games and has hit multiple homers in a game three times. That includes the season opener at UTEP, where she tied a single-game OU record with three home runs in her first collegiate game. Jennings has started every game at second or third base with a .969 fielding percentage.

Jennings and Coleman respectively rank No. 2 and No. 5 nationally in batting average.

Since the award was created in 2014, Oklahoma is the only program with more than one winner: Paige Parker won it in 2015, and 2021 national player of the year finalist Jocelyn Alo won it in 2018.

The 2021 Schutt Sports/NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year will be announced June 1.