Midseason Recognition: Pitcher of the Year
The Pitcher of the Year watch list includes three pitchers scattered across the national landscape. Imagine where these teams would be without having these arms in the circle. Our list includes two mid-major pitchers who rank top-10 in multiple categories and the No. 1 overall pick in the National Pro Fastpitch College Draft.
Louisiana junior Summer Ellyson leads the national in victories (26) and ranks eighth in earned run average (1.05). In 35 appearances – 31 starts and 186 innings pitched – she is 26-4 with 232 strikeouts. She is on pace to have one of the best seasons in Ragin’ Cajun program history.
The 232 strikeouts is good for fourth in Division I and the .154 batting average against ranks in the top 10. The Lafayette native has allowed two or more earned runs in only seven appearances and has accumulated double-digit strikeouts in nine.
Her four losses came against North Texas, Baylor (extra innings), Oklahoma and McNeese (extra innings).
Florida’s Kelly Barnhill will go down in softball history as one of the best pitchers to play the game. She holds program records for ERA (0.92), opponent batting average (.124) and strikeouts per seven innings (11.52).
One could argue that 2017 was her best season statistically, but her senior year has Barnhill in the circle in the majority of games for the Gators. She has appeared in 34 games and started 28. She has a 1.46 ERA in 181.2 innings and has limited opponents to a .150 batting average.
She’s ranked second in D-I, behind Ellyson, for victories and third in strikeouts (251).
UC Davis sophomore Brooke Yanez is probably the pitcher you haven’t heard about. She was named the Big West Conference Pitcher of the Year as a freshman and just continues to guide the Aggies in the circle.
Earlier this season, she pitched the first perfect game in the programs D-I history and pitched the fourth no-hitter in the D-I era on April 14.
At 20-3 she is the program’s first 20-game winner since 2012 and she is tied for the most wins in a single season in Division I program history.
She ranks top ten in strikeouts (201), ERA (0.93), shutouts (seven) and wins (20).