OKLAHOMA CITY Oklahoma senior Keilani Ricketts (San Jose, Calif.), the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, and 49 other student-athletes have been selected for the Watch List for the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today. Now in its 12th year, the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, given by the National Governing Body for softball in the United States, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country.
Previous recipients of the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, the most prestigious individual honor in NCAA Division I Softball, are UCLA catcher Stacey Nuveman (2002), Texas pitcher Cat Osterman (2003, 2005 and 2006), Florida State pitcher Jessica Van der Linden (2004), Tennessee pitcher Monica Abbott (2007), Virginia Tech pitcher Angela Tincher (2008), Washington pitcher Danielle Lawrie (2009 and 2010), Stanford shortstop Ashley Hansen (2011) and pitcher Ricketts.
The pre-season Watch List includes 27 seniors, 15 juniors and eight sophomores, with freshman ineligible for consideration. (Freshman can be considered for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award once they have competed at the collegiate level.) Athletes named to the Watch List represent 34 NCAA Division I universities and 12 athletic conferences. While Tennessee leads the way among universities with four athlete representatives and the Southeastern (SEC) Conference leads with eight member schools represented.
The Top 25 Finalists for the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award will be announced April 10. While an athlete does not have to be on the Watch List to be considered for the Top 25, the eventual USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will come from the Top 25 Finalists. The Top 10 Finalists will be announced May 8 and the Top 3 Finalists will be announced May 22. On May 28 prior to the start of the 2013 NCAA Womens College World Series (WCWS) in Oklahoma City, the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be revealed.
2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List
Name (School) Year Position Hometown
Emily Allard (Northwestern) Senior Utility Antioch, Calif.
Nikki Armagost (Pacific) Senior Pitcher/Utility Andover, Kan.
Marisa Bast (Northwestern) Junior Infield Orange, Calif.
B.B. Bates (UCLA) Senior Outfield Victorville, Calif.
Cassidy Bell (Penn State) Senior Outfield Bakersfield, Calif.
Kayla Braud (Alabama) Senior Outfield Eugene, Ore.
Amy Buntin (Notre Dame) Senior Catcher Franklin, Tenn.
Whitney Canion (Baylor) RS Junior Pitcher Aledo, Texas
Lauren Chamberlain (Oklahoma) Sophomore Trabuco Canyon,Calif.
Raven Chavanne (Tennessee) Senior Third base/Outfield Thousand Oaks, Calif.
J.C. Clayton (BYU) Senior Infield Hollister, Calif.
Brigette Del Ponte (Arizona) Senior Infield Peoria, Ariz.
Mel Dumezich (Texas A&M) Senior Pitcher/Infield Whiting, Ind.
Dallas Escobedo (Arizona State) Junior Pitcher Glendale, Ariz.
Rachele Fico (LSU) Senior Pitcher Oxford, Conn.
Amber Freeman (Arizona State) Sophomore Catcher Lakewood,Calif.
Olivia Galati (Hofstra) Senior Pitcher/Designated Player West Babylon, N.Y.
Teagan Gerhart (Stanford) Senior Pitcher Norco, Calif.
Lauren Gibson (Tennessee) Senior Infield Pasadena, Md.
Tara Glover (Boise State) Junior Outfield Grants Pass, Ore.
Jolene Henderson (Cal) Senior Pitcher/First base Elk Grove,Calif.
Taylor Hoagland (Texas) Senior Outfield/Third base Flower Mound, Texas
Kylene Hopkins (Michigan State) Senior Outfield Menifee, Calif.
Kaila Hunt (Alabama) Junior Infield Evans, Ga.
Kaitlin Inglesby (Washington) Junior Pitcher Portland, Ore.
Jessica Iwata (Hawaii) Senior Shortstop Lihue, Hawaii
Alix Johnson (Arizona State) Junior Outfield San Diego, Calif.
Stephany LaRosa (UCLA) Sophomore Diamond Bar, Calif.
Blaire Luna (Texas) Senior Pitcher Austin, Texas
Hayley Miles (San Diego State) Junior Utility Antelope, Calif.
Jessica Moore (Oregon) Senior Pitcher Sutter, Calif.
Nerissa Myers (Louisiana-Lafayette) Senior Infield Petal, Miss.
Sara Nevins (South Florida) Junior Pitcher Pinellas Park, Fla.
Haley Outon (Houston) Junior Catcher Pflugerville, Texas
Samantha Pappas (Oregon) Senior Outfield Mission Viejo, Calif.
Ellen Renfroe (Tennessee) Junior Pitcher Jackson, Tenn.
Jenna Rich (Stanford) Senior Infield El Segundo, Calif.
Keilani Ricketts (Oklahoma) Senior Pitcher San Jose, Calif.
Shellie Robinson (USC Upstate) Sophomore Outfield DeLand,Fla.
Hannah Rogers (Florida) Junior Pitcher Lake Wales, Fla.
Madison Shipman (Tennessee) Junior Infield Valencia, Calif.
Jessica Shults (Oklahoma) Senior Catcher Valencia, Calif.
Tess Sito (Georgia) Senior Pitcher/Utility Elyria, Ohio
Chelsea Thomas (Missouri) Senior Pitcher Pleasantville, Iowa
Jackie Traina (Alabama) Junior Pitcher/Designated player Naples, Fla.
Kirsten Verdun (DePaul) Junior Pitcher/First Base Coal City, Ill.
Haylie Wagner (Michigan) Sophomore Pitcher Orange, Calif.
Devon Wallace (Arkansas) Sophomore Utility Double Oak, Texas
Hallie Wilson (Arizona) Sophomore Outfield Santa Ana, Calif.
Hanna Winter (Stanford) Sophomore Infield Camarillo, Calif.
In addition to bestowing the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, ASA/USA Softball is now in its 11th season of presenting the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll and the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week, which are announced Tuesdays during the regular season. The pre-season ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll was released Jan. 29 with Alabama, Oklahoma, California, Arizona State and Tennessee taking the Top 5 spots. The final poll of the 2013 season will be released on June 11 following the WCWS.
About the NCAA Womens College World Series
The ASA Hall of Fame Stadium serves as the home to the NCAA Womens College World Series (WCWS). For the 23rd year, the top eight college teams in the nation will head to Oklahoma City and complete for a National Championship title. Last year, over 75,000 fans attended the WCWS. Experience It Live May 30 to June 5 in Oklahoma City. Tickets for the 2013 NCAA WCWS are on sale now, click here to purchase your tickets and make a date with champions!
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 76 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 210,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than three million. For more information on the ASA, visit http://www.asasoftball.com/.
About USA Softball
USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links the USA Men’s, Women’s, Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ National Team programs together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of the 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 including the last seven consecutive as well as claimed six World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com/.
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