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ASA/USA Softball Announce 2012 Top 50 Watch List

Hofstra's Olivia Galati. Courtesy of Hofstra Athletic Media RelationsOKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Stanford senior Ashley Hansen, the 2011 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, and 49 other student-athletes have been selected for the “Watch List” for the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America announced today. Now in its 11th 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, one of the most prestigious individual honors 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) and shortstop Hansen (2011). Arizona State shortstop Katelyn Boyd, now a senior, and Missouri pitcher Chelsea Thomas, currently a redshirt junior, were the other two finalists for last year’s award. 

The preseason “Watch List” includes 22 seniors, 20 juniors and eight sophomores, with freshmen ineligible for consideration. (Freshmen 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 31 NCAA Division I universities and 13 athletic conferences. While Cal, Florida, Michigan, Tennessee and Texas lead the way among universities with three athlete representatives each, the Big 12 Conference and the Pacific-12 (Pac-12) Conference have six member schools represented. 

The Top 25 Finalists for the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award will be announced April 11. 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 Three Finalists will be announced May 23. On May 29 prior to the start of the 2012 NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS) in Oklahoma City, the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be revealed. 

2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List

Name (School) – Year – Position – Hometown
Emily Allard (Northwestern) – Junior – Shortstop – Antioch, Calif. 
Valerie Arioto (Cal) – Senior – Utility – Pleasanton, Calif. 
Nikki Armagost (Pacific) – Junior – Pitcher/Utility – Andover, Kan. 
Lexy Bennett (Texas) – Senior – Infield – Kingwood, Texas 
Emily Bledsoe (Texas Tech) – Senior – Infield – Fulshear, Texas 
Katelyn Boyd (Arizona State) – Senior – Shortstop – Phoenix, Ariz. 
Kayla Braud (Alabama) – Junior – Outfield – Eugene, Ore. 
Devon Bridges (Boise State) – Sophomore – Outfield/First base – Danville, Calif. 
Jenna Caira (Syracuse) – Senior – Pitcher – Toronto, Ontario, Canada 
Whitney Canion (Baylor) – Junior – Pitcher – Aledo, Texas 
Raven Chavanne (Tennessee) – Junior – Third base/Outfield – Thousand Oaks, Calif. 
Amanda Chidester (Michigan) – Senior – Third base – Allen Park, Mich. 
Aimee Creger (Tulsa) – Sophomore – Pitcher – Yukon, Okla. 
Brigette Del Ponte (Arizona) – Junior – Infield – Peoria, Ariz. 
Taylor Edwards (Nebraska) – Sophomore – Catcher – Murrieta, Calif. 
Dallas Escobedo (Arizona State) – Sophomore – Pitcher – Glendale, Ariz. 
Bree Evans (Michigan) – Senior – Centerfield – Bloomington, Calif. 
Ashley Fleming (Missouri) – Senior – Outfield – Silex, Mo. 
Kenzie Fowler (Arizona) – Junior – Pitcher – Tucson, Ariz. 
Kellie Fox (UCLA) – Sophomore – Shortstop – San Diego, Calif. 
Olivia Galati (Hofstra) – Junior – Pitcher/Designated player – West Babylon, N.Y. 
Lauren Gibson (Tennessee) – Junior – Infield– Pasadena, Md. 
Ashley Hansen (Stanford) – Senior – Infield – Chandler, Ariz. 
Andrea Harrison (UCLA) – Senior – Left field/First base – Garden Grove, Calif. 
Jolene Henderson (Cal) – Junior – Pitcher/First base – Elk Grove, Calif. 
Taylor Hoagland (Texas) – Junior – Outfield/Third base – Flower Mound, Texas 
Jessica Iwata (Hawaii) – Junior – Shortstop – Lihu’e, Hawaii 
Ashley Lane (Michigan) – Junior – Second base – Escondido, Calif. 
Blaire Luna (Texas) – Junior – Pitcher – Austin, Texas 
Meagan May (Texas A&M) – Junior – Catcher/First base – Spring, Texas 
Ashley McClain (FIU) – Senior – Outfield/Pitcher – Brandon, Fla. 
Dani Miller (Notre Dame) – Senior – Infield – Huntington Beach, Calif. 
Jen Mineau (Fordham) – Senior – Pitcher – Schaghticoke, N.Y. 
Adrienne Monka (Northwestern) – Senior – First base – Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. 
Michelle Moultrie (Florida) – Senior – Center field – Jacksonville, Fla. 
Christi Orgeron (ULL) – Senior – Outfield – New Orleans, La. 
Sara Plourde (UMass) – Senior – Pitcher – Bristol, Conn. 
Kimi Pohlman (Washington) – Senior – Outfield – Sammamish, Wash. 
Jamia Reid (Cal) – Senior – Outfield – Buena Park, Calif. 
Ellen Renfroe (Tennessee) – Sophomore – Pitcher – Jackson, Tenn. 
Keilani Ricketts (Oklahoma) – Junior – Pitcher – San Jose, Calif. 
Rachel Riley (Kentucky) – Senior – Pitcher/Designated player – Bowling Green, Ky. 
Hannah Rogers (Florida) – Senior – Pitcher – Lake Wales, Fla. 
Brittany Schutte (Florida) – Junior – Catcher – Fountain Valley, Calif. 
Kathy Shelton (Baylor) – Junior – Outfield – McKinney, Texas 
Jessica Shults (Oklahoma) – Junior – Catcher – Valencia, Calif. 
Chelsea Thomas (Missouri) – Redshirt Junior – Pitcher – Pleasantville, Iowa 
Jackie Traina (Alabama) – Sophomore – Pitcher/Designated player – Naples, Fla. 
Kelsi Weseman (Georgia Tech) – Senior – Shortstop - Hutto, Texas 
Niki Williams (Washington) – Senior – Utility – Mission Viejo, Calif. 

-Courtesy of ASA/USASoftball