OKLAHOMA 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 of America announced Wednesday. 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, 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) 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 list includes 22 seniors, 20 juniors and eight sophomores, with freshmen ineligible for consideration. (Freshmen can be considered for the award once they have competed at the collegiate level.) Athletes named to the list represent 31 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 and Pac-12 have six schools represented.

2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List
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 Sophomore 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.