Haley Nash ’24 of the Brandeis women’s softball team was named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III Player of the Year watchlist on April 4. The NFCA will announce the winner following June 7 when Division III seasons conclude. The yearly award recognizes the top pitcher and position player in Division III softball. The NFCA released a list of players to watch heading into the final leg of the season, as it's likely the eventual player of the year will be selected from this list. 

Nash’s selection to the watchlist should come as no surprise to anyone who's been following the Judges this season. In 27 games, so far, she has a team-best .363 batting average, leads the team in home runs with eight, and trails only Bells Burdenski '26 for most runs batted in with 24. Conference-wide, Nash ranks second and seventh in those two stats, respectively. Her discipline has seen her accrue 20 walks, second most in the conference, and only 14 strikeouts. She also leads the conference in slugging percentage, or total bases divided by at-bats, at .763, which ranks in the top 100 for all of Division III softball. Nash has the sixth all-time highest career slugging percentage in school history. She’s been a steady glove on defense, splitting time between third base and catcher.  

This year she has reached base in 23 games, including a 10-game streak to open the season and has had two four-game stretches where she recorded a Run Batted In in every game. She drew eight walks in six games at the end of March and beginning of April, hit home runs in back to back games in mid-March against Wentworth Institute of Technology and had an 11-game stretch with a perfect fielding percentage earlier in the year. She has managed to stay consistent throughout the season while also putting together some electric stretches throughout the season to propel her team to wins. 

This nationwide recognition came at a fitting time. Nash recently crossed the 100-hit mark for her career. As of Monday, April 15, she needs nine more hits to move into the top-25 all-time in hits in the school’s softball history. Her 26 home runs for her career are third-most all-time, needing only three more to move into second place behind Melissa Jones '99. Nash currently ranks 12th all-time in runs batted in, with 88, and will likely move into the top ten before the season ends. She has managed to accomplish this despite only playing 116 games in her career, whereas former Brandeis softball players in the top-25 have played more games overall in school history. She has started every game she’s played at Brandeis.

The women’s team is 13-14 for the season, Nash’s fourth and final with the team. This Friday, Saturday and Sunday the Judges will play in a four-game conference series at home versus Case Western Reserve University. 

— Editor's Note: Justice editor Rani Balakrishna ’25 is a member of the Brandeis softball team and did not contribute to any part of this article.