Schar School of Policy and Government student athlete Aly Rayle has been nominated for the prestigious NCAA Woman of the Year Award. Rayle, who is enrolled in the Schar School’s Global Commerce and Policy master’s program, is a standout pitcher on George Mason University’s softball team, which won its first-ever Atlantic 10 conference championship in the season that concluded in June. She is the first Schar School student to be nominated for the honor.
Rayle, who was named A-10 Pitcher of the Year, helped the team to the championship with a 19-9 record, posting a 2.01 ERA. She set the all-time single-season strikeouts record and became the only Patriot pitcher to have struck out 200 batters in a single season. She led the conference in overall strikeouts (242) and looking strikeouts (72). She finished the A-10 tournament with a 4-1 record, pitching 33 innings and recording 39 strikeouts to earn the A-10 Championship's Most Outstanding Player award.
The NCAA Woman of the Year Award was created in 1991 to celebrate the achievements of women in intercollegiate athletics. Now in its 33rd year, the award honors graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service, and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.
Rayle, who came to Mason after an undergraduate career at the University of Virginia, has set softball records in her one year as a Patriot. She is tied for first in no-hitters pitched (3) alongside Lisa Davis (1997-2000) and Marsha Boyd (1990-93), who both took four years to reach the same goal. Her 2.01 ERA puts her tied for seventh all-time with Shannon Hiltner (1997-99).
In addition in her master’s degree studies, the Herndon, Virginia native has been a leader in the softball program’s community relations efforts, donating countless hours of to a variety of causes, including mentoring students in Mason softball's partnership with Willow Springs Elementary.
In her four years at UVA, Rayle volunteered with Virginia's youth at the Madison's House, the Boys and Girls Club of Central Virginia at summer camps, and as a “buddy runner” at the local Girls on the Run races. She has been involved with the Capital Area Food Bank at both schools, packaging boxes of food for families in need.
Rayle has experiences on leadership councils and advisory committees, having been elected to Athletics Advisory Council for the 2019-20 school year and served on the team Leadership Council for two years.
—Additional Reporting by Buzz McClain/Schar School of Policy and Government