Oklahoma Stars Look to Capture Pair of National Awards Tuesday Night

Jocelyn Alo, Tiare Jennings and Jayda Coleman could take home a pair of national awards ahead of the Women's College World Series.
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A trio of Sooners could pick up some hardware tonight.

Oklahoma softball stars Jocelyn Alo is a finalist for the USA Softball Player of the Year, and freshmen Tiare Jennings and Jayda Coleman are finalists for the NFCA Freshman of the Year, which will both be awarded Tuesday evening.

Alo will hope to overcome UCLA ace Rachel Garcia and Washington pitcher Gabbie Plain, who Alo dominated this weekend, for the Player of the Year award.

Facing Plain head-to-head in this past weekend’s NCAA Super Regional, Alo went 4-for-5 with two home runs, two walks and four RBIs.

Her weekend exploits bring Alo’s batting average to .487 on the season, as she has now tied her own and Lauren Chamberlain’s single-season home run record with 30 bombs for the season. The OU star has also driven in 82 runs for the year, trailing only Jennings to lead the Sooners.

SB - Jocelyn Alo

Jocelyn Alo is just 13 home runs away from setting the new NCAA career record for the Oklahoma Sooners

Alo is fourth in the nation in batting average, and leads the country in home runs and slugging percentage (1.135).

Plain is second in the country in strikeouts (337) and Garcia has posted the second best ERA in the country (0.95) amongst pitchers with 10 or more appearances.

If Alo were to win the award, she would be the first Sooner since Keilani Ricketts to take home the honor, after Ricketts won the award in 2012 and 2013.

For the Freshman of the Year, Jennings and Coleman are joined by Clemson’s Valerie Cagle as the other finalist.

Jennings is second on the team and fifth in the country with a batting average of .485, and leads the nation with 84 RBIs batting in the leadoff spot for the Sooners.

The San Pedro, CA, product is also tied for second in the nation with 25 home runs.

More than just a hitter, Tiare Jennings has posted an impressive .972 fielding percentage, committing just three errors in 52 games of action

More than just a hitter, Tiare Jennings has posted an impressive .972 fielding percentage, committing just three errors in 52 games of action

Jennings has already been named the Big 12 Freshman of the Year for her incredible season both at the dish and in the field, and she was a top 10 finalist for the USA Softball Player of the Year. 

Coleman is no stranger to game changing defensive plays either. The First Team All-Big 12 selection robbed Oklahoma State slugger Hayley Busby of a home run to help flip the momentum back to OU’s dugout in last month’s Big 12 Championship game, showing off her athleticism in center field which has been on display all season long.

SB - Jayda Coleman

One of the most patient batters for the Oklahoma Sooners, Jayda Coleman has drawn 32 walks while only striking out eight times all season

The fiery freshman is no slouch in the batter’s box either, as she enters the Women’s College World Series batting .469 with 47 RBIs and eight home runs. Coleman is also tied for the team lead with a pair of triples for the Sooners this year.

OU already holds the distinction as the only program with multiple Freshman of the Year awards since the establishment of the honor in 2014.

Pitcher Paige Parker won the award in 2015, and Alo won it herself in 2018.

Oklahoma also joins the 2016 Florida Gators as the only programs to have two of the three finalists in the same season.

The virtual awards presentation is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesday evening, and the presentation can be streamed at usasoftball.com.