Former Kansas softball standout Maddie Stein picked up a prestigious honor this week, earning a nomination from the Big 12 Conference for the 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year award.
Stein, a native of Oklahoma City, Okla., was a stalwart in the KU softball program, racking up All-Region and All-Big 12 second-team accolades on the diamond during a four-year career. But she also excelled off the field, winning the Big 12 softball scholar-athlete of the year award.
“Maddie is one of those rare athletes who overachieves on and off the field of play,” KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger said in a release. “One of the greatest honors in college athletics is watching young people grow and develop but it gives me even greater pride to watch a leader like Maddie excel in every commitment.”
Employed as a utility player, Stein, a two-time captain, helped Kansas to NCAA Tournament appearances during her junior and senior seasons. She started every game last season, batting .339 with 36 runs scored and a Big 12-leading 17 doubles. She broke Kansas’ all-time record for RBIs, and according to KU, she was also involved in a number of community service activities, including the Salvation Army’s Adopt-A-Family program.
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“During my development as a woman, I have had so many great role models in my life from my family, friends and mentors at Kansas,” Stein said. “I am extremely proud to be a Jayhawk. We competed in one of the best conferences in the nation and it is truly an honor to be selected to represent our conference and my school. I always strive to make both of them proud and I am so thankful that they thought of me and considered me for this honor.”
After receiving nominations from various conferences, the NCAA will narrow the field of Woman of the Year finalists down to 30 finalists. The top 10 nominees from Division I, II and II schools will be announced in September and a winner will unveiled in October.