Top 50 “Watch List” for the 2018 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year announced

Jan. 31, 2018, 2:57 p.m. (ET)

OKLAHOMA CITY — Thirteen of the 2017 Top 50 “Watch List” athletes, including 2017 USA Softball Player of the Year Kelly Barnhill, join 37 other student-athletes on the “Watch List” for the 2018 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award. Announced today by USA Softball, the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States, the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award enters its 17th season and recognizes outstanding athletic achievement by Division I female collegiate softball players across the country.

 

Click here for the 2018 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year "Watch List"

 

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), Oklahoma's Keilani Ricketts (2012 and 2013), Florida State's Lacey Waldrop (2014), Florida’s Lauren Haeger (2015), Michigan’s Sierra Romero (2016) and Kelly Barnhill (2017).

 

The preseason “Watch List” includes 23 seniors, 18 juniors and 9 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 32 NCAA Division I universities and 13 athletic conferences. Oklahoma leads the way among universities with five athlete representatives, while Arizona and Oregon have four athletes on the “Watch List” apiece. The Southeastern Conference (SEC) is also well-represented with eight member-schools, while five universities represent the Pac-12 Conference.

 

The Top 25 Finalists for the 2018 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award will be announced April 25. 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 9 and the Top 3 announced May 23. The 2018 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be revealed May 29. 

 

In addition to bestowing the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, USA Softball is now in its 17th 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 preseason ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll was released Jan. 30 with Oklahoma, Florida, Oregon, UCLA and Washington taking the Top 5 spots respectively. 

 

Follow along with NCAA Softball all season long at USASoftball.com!  

 

About USA Softball
USA Softball is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USA Softball sanctions competition in every state through a network of 69 local associations and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 150,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2 million.  USA Softball is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch.  USA Softball annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships.  The USA Softball umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best trained umpires in the game. 

As the NGB for the sport of softball, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USA Softball, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit,www.USASoftball.com.

 

About the NCAA Women’s College World Series

USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium – OGE Energy Field serves as the home to the NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS). For the 28th year, the top eight college teams in the nation will head to Oklahoma City and compete for a national championship. Last year, over 70,000 fans attended the WCWS. Be there to Share The Experience with softball fans from across the country May 31-June 5/6 in Oklahoma City. Tickets for the 2018 NCAA WCWS are on sale now, click here to purchase your tickets and secure your championship experience!