Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

NCAA WOMAN OF THE YEAR NOMINEE: Caitlyn Whiteside (Wilmington University)

Courtesy of Doug DeBiase, CACC Associate Commissioner for Strategic Communications
Courtesy of Doug DeBiase, CACC Associate Commissioner for Strategic Communications

Courtesy of Doug DeBiase, CACC Associate Commissioner for Strategic Communications

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (July 22, 2019) -- Caitlyn Whiteside accomplished many incredible feats during her four-year career at Wilmington University.

She earned several individual accolades, while also helping Wilmington softball go on an incredible run of success as a team. She was a three-time All-CACC First-Team honoree as a pitcher, while bookending her career with conference titles in 2016 (freshman season) and 2019 (senior season). Along the way, the Wildcats made three trips to the NCAA Division II East Region Tournament, including hosting one of the two regional sites this past spring.

Whiteside's remarkable collegiate career enabled her to get noticed in the professional ranks, as in early June she was selected with the eighth overall pick in the first round of the 2019 ASBA Draft by the E1 Pro Ballers. She became the first player in the softball program's history to be drafted into the professional ranks.

Whiteside also made great strides in the classroom, as she earned a 3.19 cumulative grade point average on the way earning her undergraduate degree in behavioral science with a certificate in child advocacy studies.

When she was not tossing gems in the pitching circle, Whiteside was giving back to area youth by volunteering as a clinic instructor over her four years at Wilmington.

Whether on the diamond, in the classroom, or in the local community, Whiteside was a perfect representative of Wilmington University Athletics, and it was an easy choice for the school to nominate her for the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year award.


General Information
School: Wilmington University
Sport: Softball
Class: Senior
Hometown: Bermuda Dunes, Calif.

Athletic Achievement
Freshman Season (2016): Led the team in wins as a rookie with 12 ... helped guide the Wildcats to the CACC Championship and a berth in the NCAA Division II East Region Tournament.

Sophomore Season (2017): Earned First-Team All-CACC honors ... garnered Second-Team All-East Region status from the D2CCA and the NFCA ... guided the team to the NCAA Division II East Region Tournament.

Junior Season (2018): Earned First-Team All-CACC honors.

Senior Season (2019): Named to the All-CACC First Team ... earned Second-Team All-East Region honors from the D2CCA ... helped lead WilmU to the CACC Championship and one of two regional hosts for the NCAA Division II East Region Tournament ... named MVP of CACC Softball Championship, and earned a spot on the CACC All-Tournament Team.

Academic Achievement
Major: Behavioral Science with a certificate in Child Advocacy Studies
Cumulative GPA: 3.19

Community Engagement
Wilmington Softball Camps (2017-2019): Volunteered at University softball clinics, teaching local children the proper fundamentals in softball.

Pitching Lessons (2015-2018): Volunteered over her holiday and summer breaks to give pitching lessons to local youth.

TNT Softball Showcase (2018): Assisted with registration and field crew duties at the event.


"I am one of the few that was lucky enough to be able to play college sports while also getting my degree, I am forever blessed for what Wilmington University has given me. My opportunities that I have been blessed with have been endless. My experience as a scholar, an athlete, and a leader has led me to become a better woman because it has taught me to be true to who I am, to work hard for what I want, and to believe in not only myself but in others. To see the good in yourself you have to see the good in others. Being a scholar has taught me to think and dig deeper than the surface, being an athlete has taught me to be a team player, it has taught be to be a good mediator, and it has led me to make my mark on the program. Being a leader is something that has had the most impact on my life and will lead me to leave my mark on the world because I believe that I have the skills to motivate people to do their best and become their best version of themselves. I am very responsible and committed to just about everything I do. When I set my mind to something, I go for it. When I start something, I finish it. I am 100% committed to just about any task I am given. I am ready to conquer the world with all I have."

Established in 1991, the NCAA Woman of the Year award recognizes graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers. The NCAA encourages member schools to honor their top graduating female student-athletes each year by submitting their names for consideration for the Woman of the Year award.

Next, conferences will select up to two nominees each from the pool of school nominees (that announcement will be made in late July/early August). Then, the Woman of the Year selection committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will choose the Top 30 honorees — 10 from each division.

The selection committee will determine the top three honorees in each division from the Top 30 and announce the nine finalists in September. From those nine finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics then will choose the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year.

The Top 30 honorees will be celebrated and the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year will be named at the annual award ceremony Oct. 20 in Indianapolis.