Midseason Recognition: Freshmen Pitchers of the Year
Over the next several days, Softball America will release its midseason recognition. Each category will feature three athletes who we think you should keep a close eye on for the second half of the season.
Our third category is for Freshman Pitcher of the Year. Texas, UCLA and Alabama each have a freshman arm in the circle that is ranked top-five nationally in earned run average and top 10 in others.
Shaelyn O’Leary, Texas
On March 27, 2019, Shaelyn O’Learly made Texas history when she achieved perfection. She needed just 63 pitches to record the 10th perfect game for the Longhorns. She joined Cat Osterman as the only Texas freshman pitchers to throw an individual perfect game.
With 71 innings pitched so far this season, O’Leary has the second-best earned run average in the country at a microscopic 0.59. She is 11-1 with eight complete games and has only allowed six earned runs on 39 hits.
Her one loss came against Oklahoma State on March 30.
Megan Faraimo, UCLA
UCLA’s Megan Faraimo is ranked third nationally with a 0.97 ERA. She holds an 11-1 record with 72.1 innings pitched. She’s made 15 appearances and has only allowed 10 earned runs on 34 hits while striking out 89.
She has been named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week four times this season and has two no-hitters on record. She has victories against Missouri, Kentucky, Washington, Fullerton and Cal (twice). Her only loss was to Michigan.
Montana Fouts, Alabama
Before being sidelined with a minor injury, Alabama’s Montana Fouts had made 16 appearances and had been named SEC Freshman of the Week three times.
Her 87 innings pitched leads the Alabama staff. So does her 1.05 ERA, 10 complete games and three saves. Opponents are batting .162 and have struck out 111 times against her.
She earned two wins against Minnesota and Missouri and defeated South Florida and Arizona. The one loss was her last outing at Texas A&M.
She is expected to return this season.