Matt Palazzo named 2015 Male FP Athlete of the Year

Jan. 29, 2016, 6:11 p.m. (ET)


OKLAHOMA CITY — After a successful 2015 international season, Matt Palazzo (Pleasant Hill, Iowa) has been named the 2015 USA Softball Male Fast Pitch Athlete of the Year the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball announced today.  This marks the second time in his storied career as a member of the USA Softball Men’s National Team that Palazzo has been honored.  The No. 3 batter in the U.S. lineup played in every competition for the Red, White and Blue last summer, helping the U.S. to a ninth-place finish at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Men’s World Championship in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada and a fourth-place finish at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

"It's a tremendous honor to be chosen as the USA Softball Male Fast Pitch Athlete of the Year," said Palazzo.  "Anytime you can put on Red, White and Blue and compete for your country is an amazing moment and the feeling of pride never goes away. The 2015 season was an amazing year for our Men's National Team at both the WBSC Men's World Championship and Pan American Games.  Although we didn't finish where we wanted, we know we can compete with the top teams in the world and we positioned ourselves for the future success of the program.   We've got a great group of guys and a wonderful coaching staff and without them this award wouldn't have been possible."

One of the most respected hitters in the international game, Palazzo compiled a .693 on-base percentage during the WBSC Men’s World Championship and led the team with seven runs scored.  The power-hitter finished the Championship with a .217 (5-for-23) average, five walks, one home run and two RBI.   Palazzo carried that success over to the 2015 Pan American Games, reaching base eight times out of 17 attempts to finish with a .812 on-base percentage and a .294 (5-for-17) batting average.  In addition to his offensive production, Palazzo also served as a mainstay in the U.S. defense and committed zero errors at first base.

“Congratulations to Matt on being named the 2015 USA Softball Male Fast Pitch Athlete of the Year,” said Head Coach Denny Bruckert (Gillespie, Ill.).  “Matt’s strong leadership and playing abilities are a key for Team USA.  Matt ranks right up there with any of the great players in the international softball world, and we’re very proud to have him not only represent Team USA, but our program and organization.”

For the summer, Palazzo finished with a .250 (10-for-40) batting average with one home run, four RBI and nine runs scored.  His best performance of the summer was against the Netherlands during the WBSC Men’s World Championship, where he finished 1-for-3 with a walk, one home run, one RBI and two runs scored.  Palazzo broke open a scoreless ball game with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth to give the U.S. an early 1-0 lead.  He would also come around to score in the bottom of the sixth to plate the third run for the U.S.

To see an entire recap of the 2015 season for the USA Softball Men’s National Team, please visit ASAUSASoftball.com.     

About ASA/USA Softball
Founded in 1933, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball is the National Governing Body Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, ASA/USA Softball sanctions competition in every state through a network of 70 local associations and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 165,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2.5 million.  ASA/USA is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won nine World Championship titles as well as claimed eight World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about ASA/USA Softball, please visit http://www.asausasoftball.com