Feb. 2, 2011
OKLAHOMA CITY -
The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America, the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States, has selected its initial "Watch List" for the 10th Annual USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award. This award, which is considered the most prestigious honor 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, Virginia Tech's Angela Tincher and two-time winner Washington's Danielle Lawrie.
Among the 50 players named was Indiana senior pitcher Morgan Melloh, who will be in her first year with the Hoosiers. A transfer from Fresno State, Melloh is the active leader in career strikeouts in the NCAA going into the 2011 sesaon with 1,138. She was named an All-American in 2008 as a freshman at FSU and is one of four pitchers in the history of NCAA softball to record back-to-back seasons of 450 or more strikeouts to start her collegiate career.
The 2011 Pre-Season Watch List is comprised of 50 players representing 36 schools and 15 different NCAA Division I Conferences with the Pac-10 Conference leading the way with seven schools represented. The list includes 23 seniors, 12 juniors and 15 sophomores.
The ASA will announce the 25 finalists on April 13. A player does not have to appear on this 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.
2011 USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List
Name (School) - Year - Position - Hometown
Valerie Arioto (California) - Senior - Utility - Pleasanton, Calif.
Hillary Bach (Arizona State) - Junior - Pitcher - Tulsa, Okla.
Donna Bourgeois (Houston) - Senior - Pitcher - Lafayette, La.
Katelyn Boyd (Arizona State) - Junior - Infield - Phoenix, Ariz.
Kayla Braud (Alabama) - Sophomore - Infield - Eugene, Ore.
Stephanie Brombacher (Florida) - Senior - Pitcher - Pembroke Pines, Fla.
Anna Cahn (Cal Poly) - Senior - Pitcher/Designated Player - Los Alamitos, Calif.
Raven Chavanne (Tennessee) - Sophomore - Outfield - Thousand Oaks, Calif.
GiOnna DiSalvatore (UCLA) - Senior - Infield - Palm Harbor, Fla.
Kelsi Dunne (Alabama) - Senior - Pitcher - Port Orange, Fla.
Rachel Fico (LSU) - Sophomore - Pitcher - Oxford, Conn.
Kenzie Fowler (Arizona) - Sophomore - Pitcher - Tucson, Ariz.
Olivia Galati (Hofstra) - Sophomore - Pitcher - West Babylon, NY
Alisa Goler (Georgia) - Senior - Infield - Frankfort, Ill.
Melissa Gonzalez (Hawaii) - Senior - Infield - Moreno Valley, Calif.
Kelly Grieve (Tennessee) - Senior -Outfield -Asheville, N.C.
Ashley Guile (Nebraska) - Junior - Utility - Olathe, Kan.
Meredith Hackett (Illinois) - Junior - Infield - Corona, Calif.
Sarah Hamilton (Florida State) - Senior - Pitcher - Tallahassee, Fla.
Ashley Hansen (Stanford) - Junior - Infield - Chandler, Ariz.
Andrea Harrison (UCLA) - Junior - Outfield - Garden Grove, Calif.
Alicia Herron (Ohio State) - Junior - Shortstop - Cypress, Calif.
Alex Holmes (UC Davis) - Senior - Pitcher/DP - San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
Whitney Kiihnl (Lipscomb) - Junior - Pitcher/Outfield - Batesville, Miss.
Brittany Lastrapes (Arizona) - Senior - Outfield - Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Blaire Luna (Texas ) - Sophomore - Pitcher - Austin, Texas
Kelly Majam (Hawaii) - Sophomore - Outfield - Pine Valley, Calif.
Jenna Marston (Missouri) - Sophomore - Infield - St. Louis, Mo.
Meagan May (Texas A&M) - Sophomore - Catcher/1B - Spring, Texas
Morgan Melloh (Indiana) - Senior - Pitcher - Fishers, Ind.
Jen Mineau (Fordham) - Junior - Pitcher - Schaghticoke, N.Y.
Abby Olson (Illinois State) -Senior- Infield - Hartsburg, Ill.
Toni Paisley (East Carolina) - Senior - Pitcher/Utility - Lakewood, Calif.
Samantha Pappas (Oregon) - Sophomore - Outfield - Las Flores, Calif.
Sara Plourde (Massachusetts) - Junior - Pitcher - Bristol, Conn.
Jessica Purcell-Fitu (BYU) - Senior - Catcher - Walnut, Calif.
Jamia Reid (California) - Junior - Outfield - Buena Park, Calif.
Ivy Renfroe (Tennessee) - Sophomore - Pitcher - Jackson, Tenn.
Keilani Ricketts (Oklahoma) - Sophomore - Pitcher - San Jose, Calif.
Hope Rush (Georgia Tech) - Sophomore - Pitcher - Stockbridge, Ga.
Jenn Salling (Washington) - Senior - Infield - Port Coquitlam, B.C., Canada
Taylor Schlopy (Georgia) - Senior - Outfield - West Hills, Calif.
Brittany Schutte (Florida) - Sophomore - Utility - Fountain Valley, Calif.
April Setterlund (Boston) - Senior - Outfield -Torrance, Calif.
Dorian Shaw (Michigan) - Senior - Infield - Burke, Va.
Kristen Shifflett (Radford) - Senior - Shortstop - Charlottesville, Va.
Jessica Shults (Oklahoma) - Sophomore - Catcher - Valencia, Calif.
Jordan Taylor (Michigan) - Senior - Pitcher - Valencia, Calif.
Rhea Taylor (Missouri) - Senior - Outfield - Buford, Ga.
Niki Williams (Washington) - Junior - Outfield - Mission Viejo, Calif.
Just days before the start of post-season play, a list of 10 finalists will be named and released on May 11. The final three finalists will be announced May 25 while the winner of the 2011 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award will be announced prior to the start of the 2011 NCAA Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.
Indiana opens the 2011 season on Thursday, Feb. 10, in Tempe, Ariz., against No. 2/1 Arizona at 8:30 p.m. ET.
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 76 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 210,000 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 nine World Championship titles including the last seven consecutive as well as claimed four World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com/.