Romero, Juarez Among Top 10 for Player of Year
NORMAN — Oklahoma senior infielder Sydney Romero and junior pitcher Giselle "G" Juarez are two of the 10 finalists for the 2019 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, USA Softball announced Wednesday.
Oklahoma is the only school with multiple finalists for the award, which is considered the most prestigious honor in NCAA Division I softball.
Romero finished the regular season leading the Big 12 in batting average (.431), home runs (17), RBIs (51) and total bases (144) while ranking second in slugging (.862), runs scored (55) and hits (72). Nationally, the San Diego, Calif., native sits in second in total bases, 13th in slugging, 15th in runs per game (1.1), 19th in home runs, 21st in strikeout rate (27.8 at-bats per strikeout) and 23rd in batting average. The senior third baseman leads all active Division I softball players in career at-bats (809) and hits (302) while holding second in total bases (526), third in RBIs (209) and fourth in runs scored (216).
Juarez is undefeated in her first season in the Crimson and Cream with a 21-0 record in the circle, including a 9-0 mark in conference play. She has registered two perfect games in 2019 to join Paige Parker as the only Sooners to tally multiple perfect games in a season. A native of Glendale, Ariz., Juarez earned six Big 12 Pitcher of the Week honors this season, including the last four, and registered double-digit strikeouts in her last five starts of the season, all against conference foes. She ranks second in the country in hits allowed per seven innings pitched (3.49), seventh in strikeouts per seven innings (10.0) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (7.00) and 19th in ERA (1.32).
The top three finalists will be announced May 22, and the 2018 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be revealed May 28.
Oklahoma alumna and current volunteer assistant coach Keilani Ricketts was a two-time recipient of the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award.
Postseason play begins this weekend as the conference’s top six teams compete in the 2019 Big 12 Tournament at USA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City Friday-Saturday. OU will be the No. 1 seed and faces No. 4 seed Texas Tech at 2 p.m. before taking on No. 6 seed Kansas at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.