Oklahoma City, Okla.---Arizona sophomore shortstop Kristie Fox, junior pitcher Alicia Hollowell and sophomore outfielder Caitlin Lowe were named today among 25 finalists for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award.
The Amateur Softball Association, the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States, presents the award at the Women's College World Series at Oklahoma City in May. It is one of two top honors for college softball players. The other is the Honda Softball Award.
Hollowell and Lowe were among the group of 25 a year ago, along with outfielder Autumn Champion. All three made a later cut to 10 finalists and Hollowell was among the three finalists for the 2004 USA honor.
All three of the UA 2005 finalists are among national leaders. Hollowell carries a 17-2 pitching record and ERA of 0.79, with seven no-hitters this year. She has a 10:1 strikeout to walk ratio. Lowe is hitting .514 with 33 runs, 20 stolen bases and 15 RBI out of the leadoff spot in the order. Fox, the Cats' top slugger and three-hole hitter, has 44 runs batted in and is hitting .392, with eight home runs.
Arizona is one of four schools that placed three players on the list, along with California, top-ranked Michigan and Oklahoma. Texas A&M,. Tennessee and Georgia each have two finalists. Thirteen different schools have candidates, including one each by Pac-10 members UCLA, Stanford and Washington.
The Top 25 finalists for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award, listed in alphabetical order, are:
Monica Abbott (Tennessee); Sophomore, Pitcher; Salinas, Calif.
Kelly Anderson (California); Senior, Pitcher; Woodland, Calif.
Holly Currie (Auburn); Sophomore, Pitcher/DP; Pisgah, Ala.
Kristi Durant (Tennessee); Junior, Catcher/3B; Placentia, Calif.
Kristie Fox (Arizona); Sophomore, Shortstop; San Diego, Calif.
Vicky Galindo (California); Senior, Third Base; Union City, Calif.
Megan Gibson (Texas A&M); Freshman, Pitcher/3B; Spring, Texas
Michelle Green (Georgia); Senior, Pitcher; Duluth, Ga.
Tiffany Haas (Michigan); Junior, 2B; Santa Ana, Calif.
Alicia Hollowell (Arizona); Junior, Pitcher; Suisun, Calif.
Lindsay James (California); Junior, Outfield; San Carlos, Calif.
Chelsi Lake (Baylor); Sophomore, Infielder; Keller, Texas
Lauren Lappin (Stanford); Junior, Shortstop; Anaheim, Calif.
Jessica Leslie (Oklahoma); Senior, Outfield; Raytown, Mo.
Caitlin Lowe (Arizona); Sophomore, Outfield; Tustin, Calif.
Jessica Merchant (Michigan); Senior, Shortstop; Wayland, Mich.
Cat Osterman (Texas); Junior, Pitcher; Houston, Texas
Jennie Ritter (Michigan); Junior, Pitcher; Dexter, Mich.
Kristen Rivera (Washington); Senior, Catcher; Perris, Calif.
Heather Scaglione (Oklahoma); Senior, Catcher; San Diego, Calif.
Amanda Scarborough (Texas A&M); Freshman, Pitcher; Magnolia, Texas
Anjelica Selden (UCLA); Freshman, Pitcher; Vacaville, Calif.
Jamie Southern (Fresno State); Senior; Pitcher/Utility; Clovis, Calif.
Kristin Vesely (Oklahoma); Junior, Outfield; Phoenix, Ariz.
Kim Wendland (Georgia); Senior, Infield; Rock Island, Ill.On May 10, just days before the start of post-season play, a list of 10 finalists will be named. On May 31 the list will be cut to three and those final three players will travel to Oklahoma City for the announcement of the winner at the 2005 NCAA Women's College World Series.
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.
Florida State's Jessica Van der Linden was selected as the 2004 winner after leading her Seminole’s to the ACC title and a berth to the Women’s College World Series. Earlier winners of the four-year-old award include Stacey Nuveman (UCLA-2002) and Cat Osterman (Texas-2003).