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Bailey wins TUCCI/NFCA National Freshman of the Year

Macauley Bailey

Carson-Newman freshman designated player Macauley Bailey (Cross Plains, Tenn.) was named the TUCCI/NFCA Division II National Freshman of the Year, the NFCA announced Tuesday afternoon

Bailey is the first player from the Southeast Region to win the award.  

Bailey beat out West Chester’s Danielle Ciliberto (Atlantic), Central Oklahoma’s Emily Deramus (Central), Bridgeport’s Mya Jones (East), McKendree’s Lauren Harris (Midwest), UAH’s Katie Bracken (South), West Texas A&M’s Emilee Boyer (South Central) and Biola’s Colby McClinton (West) for the award.

Bailey is the first C-N freshman to earn all-region laurels since Lacie Rinus and Abby Fiessinger both did so in 2017.  Bailey is the first player in South Atlantic Conference history to take home both Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year in the same season.

Bailey becomes Carson-Newman’s 19th SAC Player of the Year and sixth Freshman of the Year.  While Bailey is the first Eagle to take home Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year in the same season, former C-N All-American Lacie Rinus brought home Freshman of the Year and Pitcher of the Year honors in 2017.

The Cross Plains, Tenn.-native is the first Player of the Year since Rinus picked up that plaudit in 2018.  Carson-Newman’s 19 Player of the Year honorees are the most in the league.

Bailey was consistently in the top five nationally throughout the season in RBI.  She finished with 67, which is sixth in the nation overall and first in games played. She drove in a run in 21 of her last 29 games and had 17 games this year where she drove in multiple runs.  Her 67 RBI are good for the fourth-most in a single-season in school history.

Bailey set a litany of freshman records. She had the most RBI of any freshman in school history, as well as the most home runs (15), longest hitting streak (18) and the highest slugging percentage (.818). Her home runs are good for the second-highest single-season total in school history overall, while the hitting streak is tied for fourth and the slugging percentage sits in seventh.

From March 1 through April 11, Bailey hit successfully in 18 straight games. In that span she drove in a run in all but two games, collecting 32 RBI overall in that stretch.

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