Former Alabama softball player Haylie McCleney has been selected by the Southeastern Conference as one of its two nominees for the 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year Award. McCleney has a long list of athletics and academics achievements from her Crimson Tide career.
Also nominated by the SEC is former Arkansas track and field standout Taylor Ellis-Watson.
This is the fifth time in the last seven years that an Alabama student-athlete was a NCAA Woman of the Year nominee and the first for an Alabama softball player since Brittany Rogers in 2010. Other Alabama nominees have been gymnasts Kim Jacob (2015) and Ashley Press (2013) and golfer Brooke Pancake (2012).
The NCAA Woman of the Year award honors graduating female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership. This year, 515 honorees were nominated, the most ever in the history of the Woman of the Year program. This marks the 26th year of the Woman of the Year Award program, which was established in 1991.
The NCAA selection committee will choose the top 10 honorees within Divisions I, II and III. From those 30 candidates, the selection committee will determine the top three in each division. The Committee on Women’s Athletics will select the 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year, and the winner will be announced at a ceremony on Sunday, October 16 in Indianapolis.
McCleney is Alabama’s sixth four-time All-American, earning First Team honors in three of her four seasons. She completed her senior season in 2016 as Alabama’s career leader in batting average (.447), on-base percentage (.569), walks (199) and triples (16) while also ranking in the top five in stolen base percentage (2nd - .944), runs scored (2nd – 279), slugging percentage (3rd - .690), doubles (3rd – 57), total bases (3rd – 483), hits (4th – 313) and stolen bases (5th – 118). McCleney is just the fifth player in program history and the 21st in NCAA history to total 300 hits, 200 runs and 100 stolen bases. She is a four-time All-SEC and SEC All-Defensive team honoree.
McCleney is a three-time First Team Academic All-American and a two-time Academic All-American of the Year selection, just the third two-time winner since the yearly award was introduced in 1988. McCleney and former teammate Kayla Braud (2010-13) are the only players in program history to earn First Team honors as an All-American and Academic All-American in the same season. She was named the 2016 H. Boyd McWhorter SEC Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was the SEC’s Softball Scholar-Athlete of the Year last year. In 2016, McCleney graduated with a 4.0 cumulative grade point average in exercise science and won the Senior CLASS Award, becoming the third Alabama student-athlete to do so.