A League of Her Own: Stein Nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Former Kansas softball standout Maddie Stein set numerous goals throughout her four-year career in Crimson and Blue and her latest achievement represents a culmination of those goals. Stein was nominated by the Big 12 Conference for the 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year honor.
Stein has had her eyes set on not only excelling on the diamond, but also in the classroom and in the community. As her senior campaign came to an end, Stein received several honors including National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Region, All-Big 12 Second and Defensive Team, Academic All-Big 12 and Big 12 Softball Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
“Maddie is one of those rare athletes who overachieves on and off the field of play,” said Director of Athletics Sheahon Zenger. “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. I look forward to her continued leadership as she enters the world of college athletics as a profession.”
A 2015 graduate from KU, Stein received a degree in sports management. After graduation, Stein headed south to Oklahoma to pursue a master’s degree while working with the Sooners’ faculty academic representative. Stein was recognized as a Prentice Gautt Award recipient. To honor the lifetime service of Prentice Gautt, the late Associate Commissioner of the Big 12, the conference established 24 postgraduate scholarships to be awarded to two seniors from each institution who have demonstrated their commitment to excellence in academics and have pledged to continue their education in graduate school.
Along with academic and athletic successes, Stein was actively involved in community and charitable activities throughout Lawrence. She participated in team-sponsored activities, Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC)-organized community service and on her own. Along with her teammates, Stein helped out with the Salvation Army’s Adopt-A-Family program, which helps families in need have a brighter holiday season.
“Maddie loves Kansas and she has worked really hard,” head coach Megan Smith said. “She’s not selfish, she loves her teammates and she does anything she can for anyone, including our entire athletic department. She is a great representative of Kansas softball.”
Passionate about giving back to the community, Stein was also highly active in SAAC-sponsored events such as Soles for Souls, Trick-or-Treat So Others Can Eat, Fun and Fitness, READ and ringing bells to collect donations for the Salvation Army. On her own, Stein has spent time at the Boys and Girls Club helping out with activities and tutoring children in the community.
Much like her first three seasons in a Jayhawk uniform, Stein continued to etch her name all over KU’s record books her final collegiate season on the softball diamond. The biggest individual highlight of 2015 for Stein was claiming Kansas’ all-time RBI record. The Oklahoma City, Oklahoma native tallied her 141st run batted in, the game-winning run, against Georgia State (3/22), which surpassed former teammate Maggie Hull-Tietz’s record of 140. Stein finished her career with the Jayhawks tied for fourth in batting average (.349), tied for third in doubles (47), tied for fourth in hits (219), sixth in total bases (307) and 10th in slugging percentage (.490).
“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.”
A two-time captain, Stein helped the Jayhawks to their second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance and a 40-15 record in 2015, marking the first 40-win campaign for Kansas since 1992.
Stein started every game of the 2015 campaign and hit .339 with 36 runs scored, 58 hits, including a Big 12-leading 17 doubles. She ended the season with 41 RBIs and her career with 150. Stein registered a .544 slugging percentage and a .423 on-base percentage, while posting a .997 fielding percentage after committing just one error.
Second on the team in multi-hit efforts with 15, Stein recorded eight multi-RBI performances. She owned the longest hitting streak of the season after collecting a hit in 12-straight games. Two of Stein’s six home runs were grand slams, including a game-winning, bases-loaded homer against Omaha (3/15).
Next, the NCAA will narrow the field of Woman of the Year finalists down to the top 30 candidates. The top 10 nominees from Division I, II and II institutions will be announced in September and the winner in October.
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