Softball: CSUN pitcher Zoe Conley’s stellar play has earned her a finalist spot for Freshman of the Year


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Raul Martinez/ Staff Photographer Photo credit: Raul Martinez

Kenneth Berry

With a 15-4 record, 1.48 ERA, 112 strikeouts, and a .200 batting average in 113.2 innings, freshman phenom Zoe Conley’s pitching has her earned her spot as one of 25 finalists for the FCPA Freshman of the Year.

The Berkeley, Calif. native has propelled CSUN to its first 9-0 start in conference play in its Division I history. The Matadors’ 34 wins are the most by a CSUN team since 2004 as well as the best record after 44 games since the 1996 team that also went 34-10.

Conley ranks among the Big West Conference leaders in wins, ERA, opponent batting average and strikeouts. Conley is second in the conference with six shutouts, which is also tied for 15th in Division 1.

Conley has earned Big West Pitcher of the Week honors twice this season an as of April 13, she was ranked 23rd in Division 1 in ERA, 53rd in hits allowed per seven innings and 96th in strikeouts per seven innings.

Most notably on Feb. 25, Conley tossed the first no-hitter at CSUN since 2008 with a 16-strikeout performance against Utah Valley. She also tossed eight innings of relief work with nine strikeouts in a 10-inning loss to a nationally ranked UCLA team.

In Big West play, Conley is 4-0 with a 1.42 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 29.2 innings of work with two saves and has held league opponents to a .179 batting average.

CSUN has now had one of the 25 Finalists for the award in both years of its existence. Last season, Taylor Glover was one of three Big West players to be named one of 25 finalists for the NFCA’s inaugural National Freshman of the Year award.

On Thurs., May 7, the list will be trimmed down to the top-10 finalists, with the top-3 finalists selected and released on Thurs., May 21. In its second year, the NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year trophy will be presented during a live ceremony on May 26 prior to the opening of the annual Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.

Conley will look to continue her dominant play when CSUN starts their three-game series at home against the UC Riverside Highlanders in a doubleheader on Saturday, April 18, and the closeout game on Sunday, April 19. Both games set to start at noon.