OKLAHOMA CITY — The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced the Top 25 Finalists for the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, which will be announced at the opening of the 2013 NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS) in Oklahoma City. This award, which is considered the most prestigious honor in Division I women’s collegiate softball, is designed to recognize the outstanding athletic achievement by female players across the country.
Now in its 12th year, previous recipients of the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award 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 Oklahoma pitcher Keilani Ricketts (2012), who is also among the list of Top 25 Finalists this season.
This year’s Top 25 is comprised of 11 seniors, eight juniors, four sophomores and two freshman. The student-athletes selected represent 17 NCAA Division I universities and five athletic conferences. Alabama leads the way among universities with four athlete representatives, followed by Oklahoma and Tennessee with three apiece, Texas with two and Arizona State, Arkansas, California, Florida, Louisville, LSU, Michigan, Missouri, Notre Dame, Oregon, Penn State, South Florida and Washington each have one member among the Top 25 Finalists.
Just prior to the start of post-season play, on May 8 the list will be narrowed to the Top 10 Finalists. The Top 3 Finalists will be announced May 22, while the winner of the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award will be revealed on May 28 prior to the start of the NCAA WCWS in Oklahoma City.
The USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award is voted on by coaching representatives from 11 Division I Conferences in the 15 ASA Regions as well as members of the media who consistently cover Division I Softball across the country.
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. A complete history of the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award, past Top 25 Polls and Player of the Week honorees are available at Teamusa.org/USA-Softball/College-Corner.aspx.
Top 25 Finalists (SEC Selections Only)
Kayla Braud, Alabama
Raven Chavanne, Tennessee
Rachele Fico, LSU
Lauren Gibson, Tennessee
Kaila Hunt, Alabama
Haylie McCleney, Alabama
Ellen Renfroe, Tennessee
Hannah Rogers, Florida
Chelsea Thomas, Missouri
Jackie Traina, Alabama
Devon Wallace, Arkansas