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Softball: Hayden Advances in Woman of the Year Selection Process
Ragin' Cajuns Softball alum Haley Hayden chosen to represent the Sun Belt Conference among the 145 female athletes being considered for the NCAA Woman of the Year Top 30
LAFAYETTE – The Sun Belt Conference has chosen Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Softball alumna Haley Hayden as of the two female athletes who will represent the conference as nominees for the prestigious NCAA Woman of the Year Award.
Hayden is joined by South Alabama track standout Kaitlyn Beans as the Sun Belt's candidates for the award which will be handed out at the annual banquet Oct. 22 in Indianapolis.
Conferences across the nation, along with an independent selection committee, selected 145 female student-athletes for consideration for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year Award. Of those recognized, 58 nominees competed in Division I, 34 in Division II and 53 in Division III.
Hayden, originally nominated for the award by the Ragin' Cajuns Athletics Department and her name submitted to the SBC, is now eligible for the next round of the selection process – the Top 30. In early September, the Woman of the Year selection committee will name the Top 30 honorees, choosing 10 women from each division.
At the end of September, the selection committee will select and announce nine finalists, with three from each division. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics will select the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year from those finalists.
The NCAA Woman of the Year program has recognized graduating female student-athletes for excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership since its inception in 1991. To be eligible, a nominee must have competed and earned a varsity letter in an NCAA-sponsored sport, must have completed eligibility in her primary sport, and must have earned her undergraduate degree by Summer 2017.
Hayden graduated in May with a bachelor's degree in exercise science and has been accepted to Palmer (Fla.) College's chiropractor school. The West Monroe native was a four-time All-Sun Belt Conference and four-time NFCA All-Central Region choice, three-time CoSIDA Academic All-District™ recipient and first team member on the 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-America® Division I softball team.
Hayden produced at least 40 runs, hits and RBI all four years and her career totals exceeded the 200-mark in each category. During the 2017 season she became the Ragin' Cajuns all-time runs scored leader, scoring the record-breaking 244th career run on April 30. In her final campaign wearing the Ragin' Cajuns uniform, Hayden posted a career-best .382 average and eclipsed 50 RBI (career-high 57) and double digits in home runs (12) for the first time since her sophomore season.
For more information on Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Softball, as well as all of Ragin' Cajuns Athletics, visit RaginCajuns.com. Fans can also follow along with the team on Facebook (/RaginCajunSoftball),Twitter (@RaginCajunsSB) and Instagram (@RaginCajunsSoftball).
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