ASU's Amber Freeman named Pac-12 Softball Player of the Year

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By Brad Denny By Brad Denny

TEMPE, Ariz. -- As they prepare to begin NCAA Tournament play on Friday night, the Arizona State softball team received some great news on Wednesday. Sophomore catcher Amber Freeman was named the Pac-12 Softball Player of the Year.

Following her excellent freshman year in which she was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman team and the Women's College World Series All-Tournament Team, Freeman stepped in up in a big way for ASU in 2013. She led the team with 62 hits and a .358 average. She also slugged 16 home runs and drove in 58, and committed just a single error in 287 chances behind the plate.

Freeman wasn't the member of the team honored today. She was joined on the All-Pac-12 First Team by pitcher Dallas Escobedo, recently named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week for the third time this season, and shortstop Cheyenne Colye. Escobedo is the ace of the staff, having posted a 25-4 record with a 2.31 average, while Coyle led the team with 19 home runs and 60 RBI in her first season on the roster.

With the award, Freeman becomes the fifth Sun Devil to receiver the conference's Player of the Year award, and the first since Kaitlin Cochran managed a three-peat from 2007 through 2009. 

Freeman and the rest of the Sun Devils, the No. 5 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, will open up regional play at home on Friday night when they take on San Jose State. First pitch is at 6:30 p.m.