Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Three Cats Selected Finalists for Softball Honor
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: June 22, 2004
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April 9, 2004

OKLAHOMA CITY - Sophomore pitcher Alicia Hollowell, sophomore left fielder Autumn Champion and freshman center fielder Caitlin Lowe have been named among 25 finalists for a top national player of the year honor.

The Amateur Softball Association, the national governing body of softball, and USA Softball have released the 25 finalists for the 2004 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award.

The award is one of two major honors in the sport, the other being the Honda Softball Award, which Arizona players have won five times -- Susie Parra in 1994, Jenny Dalton in 1996, Nancy Evans in 1998 and Jennie Finch in 2000 and 2001.

Hollowell is among national leaders and No. 1 in the Pac-10 with a 25-0 record, plus is the Pac-10's leader with 320 strikeouts. Champion leads the league with a .500 batting average and is second in runs scored with 36 and second with 55 hits. Lowe is first with 58 runs, tied for first with 57 hits, first with 39 stolen bases and second to Champion with a .479 batting average.

The final list for the USA Softball award is comprised of 25 players that represent 18 colleges and six different Division I Conferences.

The 2004 top 25 Finalists include:

Monica Abbott, Tennessee
Nicole Barber, Georgia
Autumn Champion, Arizona
Christina Clark, Fresno State
Leigh Ann Ellis, South Florida
Keira Goerl, UCLA
Holly Groves, South Florida
Alicia Hollowell, Arizona
Peaches James, Nebraska
Lauren Lappin, Stanford
Jessica van der Linden, Florida State
Caitlin Lowe, Arizona
Monica Hoffman, Oregon State
Iyhia McMichael, Mississippi State
Brooke Mitchell, Louisiana-Lafayette
Stephanie Ramos, UCLA
Kristen Rivera, Washington
Heather Scaglione, Oklahoma
Kristin Schmidt, LSU
Dana Sorensen, Stanford
Jamie Southern, Fresno State
Cristin Vitek, Baylor
Kim Wendland, Georgia
Haley Woods, California
Phelan Wright, Arizona State
Former UA pitcher Jenny Gladding, now at Florida, was selected among the top 25 finalist but was removed from further consideration after suffering a season-ending injury last week.

The list will be reduced to 10 players on April 28 and three finalists will be announced May 11. The winner of the 2004 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award will be announced May 26 at the opening ceremonies of the NCAA College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla. The winner will be recognized and presented with the Player of the Year trophy during the ASA National Council Meeting in Mobile, Alabama, in November.

A replica of the award will be placed in a permanent display in the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, along with photos of the winner. An additional replica of the award will be presented to the player's academic institution.