FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – In recognition of her standout season, Ashley Diaz has earned a spot on the Schutt Sport/NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year Top 25 watch list. Through the first 44 games of her collegiate career, Diaz carries a .374 batting average with 12 home runs and 40 RBI. The top-10 finalists for the national freshman award will be announced May 12.
Diaz is one of nine freshmen from the SEC named to the list. She ranks first among freshman in the league with 12 home runs, a figure that also stands as the third most among freshmen in the NCAA. Diaz enters the weekend ranked among the top 15 in four SEC statistical categories: 14th in slugging percentage (.672), tied for fifth in home runs, tied for 10th in total bases (88) and tied for second in sacrifice flies (four).
Earlier this season, Diaz put together an 18-game hitting streak that is the second longest in the SEC this season and tied the school record. It was the longest streak by a Razorback since the 2002 season (Cortney Mitchell); Tiffany Wooley first established the mark in 1999. Diaz is the first freshman in program history to reach 40 RBI in a season and just the second to hit 10 or more home runs. She also leads the team with 16 multi-hit games and 13 multi-RBI performances.
The South El Monte, Calif., native faces off with fellow watch-list member Hailey Lunderman of Ole Miss this weekend with Arkansas traveling to Oxford, Miss., for an SEC series. The three-game series begins Friday at 6 p.m. (CT). Saturday’s game two will be televised by the SEC Network which marks the Razorbacks’ 12th television appearance of the season.
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