Australian pitcher Gabbie Plain’s season with the Washington Huskies has culminated with a top-three placing in the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award.
The Harrington Park local was competing for the title against Oklahoma utility Jocelyn Alo and UCLA pitcher Rachel Garcia. The 2021 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year was ultimately awarded to Alo from Oklahoma State.
In a virtual awards ceremony, USA Softball CEO Craig Cress brought attention to the National Collegiate Athletic Association voting process.
“[The] USA Softball Player of the Year award is voted on for several weeks, leading up to the Women’s College World Series,” Cress said.
“The voting panel went through the process of narrowing the finalists from 50 athletes to the top three.”
Two-time USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award winner Keilani Ricketts praised and reflected on the finalist’s individual seasons.
“Congratulations to the top three finalists. It’s been so awesome to watch all three of you,” Ricketts said.
“Just the impact you’ve had not only on your respective teams but just the impact you’ve had on college softball and such special careers you’ve had up to this point.”
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During the virtual ceremony, Cress read out each of the finalist’s achievements ahead of announcing the winner. The USA Softball CEO highlighted how Plain had displayed dominance from the pitcher’s plate all throughout the season.
“Our third finalist, from the University of Washington, senior pitcher Gabbie Plain,” Cress started.
“Gabbie ranks in the top 10 in several pitching categories including first in wins with 32, and second in strikeouts with 337.
“Plain became the third Husky to ever earn the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year after leading the conference by more than 60 strikeouts and 10 wins in the 2021 season.”
“She proved dominant in the circle this season, collecting 14 double-digit strikeout games, 13 shutouts and nine wins over ranked teams,” Cress continued.
“Additionally, Plain limited her opponents to one or fewer hits in 11 games and garnered six career no-hitters with two in the 2021 season.”
Washington’s NCAA Women’s College World Series campaign came to an end earlier in the week. After advancing beyond the Regionals portion of the bracket, the Huskies lost to Oklahoma in two games at Super Regionals.
Plain’s next adventure will take her to Ota City in Japan. There, she will be joining 22 Aussie Spirit members for preparations ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
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