Natalie Fernandez To Represent Sun Belt Conference In NCAA Woman Of The Year Race
Natalie Fernandez, who was a member of Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajun softball team from 2011-2014, has been named a conference finalist for the 2014 NCAA Woman of the Year award, which honors graduating female student-athletes.
The NCAA Woman of the Year award, now in it’s 24th year, honors graduating female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in academics, athletics, service and leadership.
Fernandez, along with along with Arkansas State hurdler Sharika Nelvis, are the remaining nominees from the Sun Belt Conference, with each conference selecting two nominees.
NCAA colleges and universities from around the country nominated 446 female student-athletes for the award back in June.
The Woman of the Year selection committee now has narrowed that list to 30 honorees, including ten from each division, from the conference nominees.
From among those 30 candidates, the selection committee determines the top three in each division and announces the top nine finalists in September. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will then vote from among the finalists to determine the 2014 NCAA Woman of the Year. The top 30 honorees will be honored, and the 2014 NCAA Woman of the Year winner will be announced, at the annual ceremony in Indianapolis on Sunday, Oct. 19.
A graduate of Live Oak High School in Denham springs, La., Fernandez earned First-Team All-Sun Belt Conference and Second Team All-Region honors in her senior season of 2014, helping lead the Cajuns to a berth in the 2014 Women’s College World Series, after hitting a .418, along with 82 hits, 63 runs, 11 stolen bases and a .523 on base percentage.
In her four-year career with Louisiana, Fernandez, who played both second base and third base, accumulated 253 hits, 190 runs scored, and 52 stolen bases, over 236 games.
Off the field, Fernandez served as the Vice President of the UL Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), which serves as the governing body for student-athletes, and was named the inaugural UL Female Student-Athlete of the Year in May for her success in academics, athletics, leadership and community involvement.