OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. --- The Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States, has selected its initial “Watch List” for the 8th Annual USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award. This award, which is considered the most prestigious honors in Division I women’s collegiate softball, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country. Past winners of this award include UCLA’s Stacey Nuveman, Florida State’s Jessica Van der Linden, three-time winner Texas pitcher Cat Osterman, Tennessee’s Monica Abbott and Virginia Tech’s Angela Tincher.
The 2009 Pre-Season Watch List is comprised of 50 players representing 32 schools and 13 different NCAA Division I Conferences.
The ASA will announce the 25 finalists on April 1. A player does not have to appear on the initial watch list to be considered as a top 25 finalist. However, once the top 25 finalists are named the winner of the award will come from that list. *Freshman qualify for the top 25 list once they have competed at the collegiate level.
Just days before the start of post-season play, a list of 10 finalists will be named and released on May 6. The final three finalists will be announced May 20 while the winner of the 2009 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award will be announced prior to the start of the 2009 NCAA Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.
2009 USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List
Name – School – Year – Position – Hometown
Valerie Arioto (California) – Sophomore – Utility – Pleasanton, Calif.
Brandice Balschmiter (Massachusetts) – Senior – Pitcher - Newark, N.Y.
Chelsea Bramlett (Mississippi State) – Junior – Catcher/Infield – Cordova, Tenn.
Ashley Brignac (Louisiana-Lafayette) – Sophomore – Pitcher – River Ridge, La.
Neena Bryant (Oregon) – Outfield – Junior – Placentia, Calif.
Ashley Charters (Washington) – Senior - Infield– Beaverton, Ore.
Kaitlin Cochran (Arizona State) - Senior- Outfield - Yorba Linda, Calif.
Lauren Delaney (Northwestern) – Junior – Pitcher – Jefferson City, Mo.
GiOnna DiSalvatore (UCLA) – Sophomore - Utility – Palm Harbor, Fla.
Krista Donnenwirth (Arizona State) – Sophomore - SS/Third Base – Mission Viejo, Calif.
Angela Findlay (Michigan) – Junior – Outfield – Lockport, Ill.
Ali Gardiner (Florida) – Senior – First Base - Waccabuc, N.Y.
Lauren Grill (Mississippi) – Junior – Infield – Tualatin, Ore.
Alissa Haber (Stanford) – Junior – Outfield- Newark, Calif.
Becca Heteniak (DePaul) – Junior – Pitcher - Simi Valley, Calif.
Tiffany Huff (Tennessee) – Junior – Catcher/First Base – Saugus, Calif
Amanda Kamekona (UCLA) – Senior – Infield – Chino Hills, Calif.
Megan Langenfeld (UCLA) – Junior – Pitcher/First Base – Bakersfield, Calif.
Brittany Lastrapes (Arizona) – Sophomore – Outfield - Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Danielle Lawrie (Washington) – Junior - Pitcher – Langley, British Columbia
Jenae Leles (Arizona) – Senior – Third Base – Fair Oaks, Calif.
Robin Mackin (Nebraska) – Junior - Pitcher - Newmarket, Ontario
Sam Marder (Ohio State) – Junior– Catcher - Calabasas, Calif.
DJ Mathis (Oklahoma) - Senior – Pitcher – East Alton, Ill.
Morgan Melloh (Fresno State) – Sophomore - Pitcher – Fishers, Ind.
Noelle Micka (Nevada) – Sophomore – Catcher – Garden Grove, Calif.
Rachel Mitchell (LSU) – Junior – Outfield – LaPorte, Texas
Kelley Montalvo (Alabama) – Senior – Utility - Miami, Fla.
Charlotte Morgan (Alabama) – Junior– Pitcher/Utility – Moreno Valley, Calif.
Kara Nelson (Illinois State) - Junior – Third Base – Moline, Ill.
Stacey Nelson (Florida) – Senior – Pitcher – Los Alamitos, Calif.
Nikki Nemitz (Michigan) – Junior – Pitcher – St. Clair Shores, Mich.
Megan Patton (DePaul) – Senior – Third Base - Forsyth, Ill.
Missy Penna (Stanford) – Senior – Pitcher/Infield – Miami, Fla.
Haley Perkins (Fresno State) – Senior – Infield – Fresno, Calif.
Brette Reagan (Baylor) – Senior – Infield – Magnolia, Texas
Samantha Ricketts (Oklahoma) - Senior - First Base - San Jose, Calif.
Brittany Rogers (Alabama) – Senior – Outfield - Dacula, Ga.
Jamie Schloredt (Sacramento State) – Senior – Catcher – Woodland, Calif.
Kirsten Shortridge (LSU) – Junior – Pitcher/Outfield– Keller, Texas
Danielle Spaulding (North Carolina) – Junior – First Base/Pitcher - Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
Jordan Taylor (Michigan) – Sophomore – Pitcher – Valencia, Calif.
Rhea Taylor (Missouri) – Sophomore – Outfield – Buford, Ga.
Brooke Turner (Long Beach State) – Sophomore – Pitcher – Buena Park, Calif.
Jessica Valis (Houston) – Senior – Infield – Shiner, Texas
Laurie Wagner (Houston) – Senior – Outfield – Houston, Texas
Kim Waleszonia (Florida) – Senior – Outfield - Fontana, Calif.
Megan Wiggins (Georgia) – Sophomore – Infield - Snellville, Ga.
Tammy Williams (Northwestern) – Senior – Infield - Roscoe, Mo.
Jen Yee (Georgia Tech) - Junior - Second Base – North Delta, British Columbia
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 83 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 240,000 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 eight World Championship titles including the last six consecutive as well as claimed two World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com/.