OKLAHOMA CITY — University of Iowa assistant softball coach Stacy May-Johnson was selected as the 2011 USA Softball Female Athlete of the Year, the Amateur Softball Association and USA Softball announced Monday.
May-Johnson, who saw time at shortstop and third base, came out of retirement in 2011 to make her first USA Softball Women’s National Team at 27 years old. She started 27-of-28 games in three tournaments for the United States.
She guided Team USA to gold medals at the World Cup of Softball VII in Oklahoma City — the fifth straight title — and the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico — the seventh straight championship. She also led the Red, White and Blue to a runner-up finish at the Canadian Open Fast Pitch International Championship in Surrey, B.C., Canada, earning the Defensive Most Valuable Player award.
“When you play on a really good team like the USA Softball Women’s National Team, it is easier to play well,” said May-Johnson, who is entering her second season as an assistant coach with the Hawkeyes. “It’s easier to play defense when you are behind a good pitcher who strikes everyone out. It’s easy to hit well when the people before you are on base and when the batters behind you are dangerous.
“Sometimes when you’re on a really good team, you win these neat awards like the USA Softball Female Athlete of the Year, but I know this award is not all for me. It’s the people around me that I have to thank for helping me perform at this level.”
May-Johnson went 33-for-79 to post a .418 batting average during her stint with Team USA, ranking first on the team in hits and at-bats and third among National Team members in batting average. She had four doubles, a triple and a team-high six home runs for a .722 slugging percentage. May-Johnson had team-highs in runs scored (26) and RBI (30), nine more than her nearest teammate.
May-Johnson and the Hawkeyes open the 2012 season at the Getterman Classic in Waco, Texas, on Feb. 10-12. Iowa opens the season against Wichita State on Feb. 10 beginning at 12:30 p.m.