For the second year in a row, Georgia softball’s junior center fielder Cortni Emanuel has been named a finalist for the USA Softball Player of the Year, considered one of the most prestigious honors in Division I softball.
C. Emanuel is an essential part to the Bulldog offense, batting at the leadoff spot in every game she has played this season. The junior is hitting .422 this season, which ranks sixth in the SEC, as the Bulldogs lead the league and fifth in the nation in batting average. Her 54 hits is also sixth in the league while she just moved into Georgia’s career top 10 with 214 in her career.
Once on base, C. Emanuel shows off her speed, putting up 36 stolen bases for the most in the SEC by 13 bases. The Missouri City, Texas, native is just the second Bulldog ever to record 100 or more stolen bases in a career with 114. Nicole Barber holds the top spot with 257, which is still the most in NCAA history.
The outfielder was a top 25 finalist for the award last season and a top 10 finalist for the Freshman of the Year award in 2015. This year she is one of 34 and one of eight juniors on the list. Seven SEC student-athletes are among the honorees with five schools represented.
Prior to the start of postseason play, the list will be narrowed to the Top 10 Finalists on May 10. The Top 3 Finalists will be announced May 24, while the winner of the 2017 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award will be revealed on May 30 prior to the start of the NCAA WCWS in Oklahoma City.
The USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award is voted on by coaching representatives of 10 Division I Conferences in the 10 USA Softball Regions, members of the media who consistently cover Division I Softball across the country as well as past winners of the award.
C. Emanuel and the Bulldogs return to SEC play after taking a victory against Georgia Tech on Wednesday. Georgia hosts Mississippi State starting on Friday with a 6 p.m. ET contest at Jack Turner Stadium. All three games will be featured on SEC Network+/WatchESPN.