OKLAHOMA CITY -- With less than 10 days until the start of the 2015 NCAA Softball season, 50 student-athletes from across the country have been selected for the watch list for the 2015 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced on Wednesday. Now in its 14th year, the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, given by the National Governing Body for softball in the United States, recognizes outstanding athletic achievement by Division I 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 ('03, '05 and '06), Florida State pitcher Jessica Van der Linden ('04), Tennessee pitcher Monica Abbott ('07), Virginia Tech pitcher Angela Tincher ('08), Washington pitcher Danielle Lawrie ('09 and '10), Stanford shortstop Ashley Hansen ('11), Oklahoma's Keilani Ricketts ('12 and '13) and Florida State's Lacey Waldrop ('14).
The preseason watch list includes 26 seniors, 18 juniors and six 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 schools and 13 athletic conferences. Arizona leads the way among schools with four athlete representatives, while Georgia, Michigan, Oklahoma and Oregon have three athletes on the watch list apiece.
The top 25 Finalists for the 2015 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award will be announced on April 8. 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 6 and the top 3 announced May 20. The 2015 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be revealed May 26.