She can hit for average and power, run, field, and overall lead one of the best softball teams in the nation. And Haylie McCleney has also proved that she can get the job done in the classroom as well as she does on the diamond.
Alabama senior center fielder Haylie McCleney has been named the 2015-16 Southeastern Conference H. Boyd McWorther Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
She is the first Alabama softball player to earn the award, and only the second from her sport in the conference. Ole Miss golfer Forrest Gamble earned the men’s scholarship. McCleney and Gamble were chosen by a committee of Faculty Athletics Representatives from SEC universities and both will receive a $15,000 post-graduate scholarship.
With McCleney’s selection, Alabama is now tied with Georgia for the most honors in the award’s 31-year history with 10. The Crimson Tide has earned seven honors since 2000, the most in the SEC over that span.
“Our tradition of success when it comes to this honor is a clear sign that at Alabama, our commitment to excellence in the classroom is long-standing and ongoing,” Alabama Athletics Director Bill Battle said.
McCleney joins Julie Estin (1987, gymnastics), Jeff Laubenthal (1992, baseball), Meredith Willard (1997, gymnastics), Kristin Sterner (2003, gymnastics), Lauren Imwalle (2004, soccer), Emeel Salem (2007, baseball), Joseph Sykora (2008, golf), Barrett Jones (2013, football) and Cory Whitsett (2014, golf) among the Tide’s SEC Scholar-Athletes of the Year.
McCleney’s achievement comes one year after she was named the Softball Academic All-American of the Year.
“This is fitting recognition of the extraordinary career that Haylie McCleney has fashioned here at The University of Alabama,” Battle said. “Haylie continues to be an amazing example of what can be accomplished when you work tirelessly to be your best in all aspects of life.”
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said, "Forrest and Haylie are the type of student-athletes who make a commitment to excellence in the classroom and in competition that are representative of the high standards of the Southeastern Conference. Their accomplishments and their character make them ideal choices for the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Award."
The award is named for the late commissioner of the SEC.
A two-time First Team Academic All-America (2014-15), McCleney is a 2016 Senior CLASS Award finalist and the 2015 Academic All-America Team Member of the Year for Division I Softball. The 2015 SEC Softball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, McCleney is a two-time member SEC Honor Roll (2014-15).
On the diamond, McCleney is a three-time All-America (2013-15) and four-time finalist for USA Softball Player of the Year (2013-16) while also earning All-SEC honors three years in a row. She is just the second player in program history to be named first team as both an All-America and Academic All-America in the same season.
The career leader at Alabama in walks, batting average, and on-base percentage, she also ranks in the top 10 in slugging percentage, hits, runs, triples, stolen bases, and stolen base percentage. McCleney owns three of the top 10 single-season batting averages and on-base percentages in program history and in 2015 she set a single-season record at Alabama with a .588 on-base percentage.