By Steven Embree | April 09, 2014, midnight (ET)
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced the Top 25 Finalists for the 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, which will be announced at the opening of the 2014 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 13th 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 and 2013).
This year’s Top 25 is comprised of 12 seniors, 10 juniors and three sophomores. The student-athletes selected represent 16 NCAA Division I universities and five athletic conferences. Alabama, Arizona State, Florida State, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, South Alabama, Tennessee and Tulsa each have two players represented and Arizona, Baylor, Oklahoma, South Florida, Texas, UCLA and Western Illinois each have one member among the Top 25 Finalists.
Just prior to the start of post-season play, on May 7 the list will be narrowed to the Top 10 Finalists. The Top 3 Finalists will be announced May 21, while the winner of the 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award will be revealed on May 27 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, members of the media who consistently cover Division I Softball across the country as well as past winners of the award.
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.
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 165,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2.5 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.
About the NCAA Women’s College World Series
The ASA Hall of Fame Stadium serves as the home to the NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS). For the 24th year, the top eight college teams in the nation will head to Oklahoma City and complete for a National Championship title. Last year, over 70,000 fans attended the WCWS. Experience It Live May 29 to June 4 in Oklahoma City. Tickets for the 2014 NCAA WCWS are on sale now, click here to purchase your tickets and make a date with champions!