OKLAHOMA CITY — Arizona junior first baseman Hallie Wilson has been named as one of 25 finalists for the 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced on Wednesday. This award, which is considered the most prestigious honor in Division I women’s collegiate softball, is designed to recognize the outstanding athletic achievement by female players across the country.
So far this season, Wilson is batting .402 which ranks her ninth in the Pac-12, with seven home runs and 41 RBI. In addition, Wilson ranks third in the league with a .529 on-base percentage, tenth in the conference with a .709 slugging percentage. She is also second in the Pac-12 in triples with three, and she leads the conference in runs per game, which also puts her tenth nationally.
Wilson led Arizona in batting average during each of her first two seasons as a Wildcat with figures of .372 and .346 as a sophomore and freshman, respectively, good for a career .359 batting average. The Santa Ana, Calif., native was a first-team all-Pac-12 performer last season and an all-region selection. Wilson hit seven home runs and drove in 24 runs to go along with an impressive .476 on-base percentage in 2013; she led the team with 12 doubles.
Now in its 13th year, previous recipients of the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award 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), Stanford shortstop Ashley Hansen (2011), and Oklahoma pitcher Keilani Ricketts (2012 and 2013).
This year’s Top 25 is comprised of 12 seniors, 10 juniors and three sophomores. The student-athletes selected represent 16 NCAA Division I universities and five athletic conferences. Alabama, Arizona State, Florida State, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, South Alabama, Tennessee and Tulsa each have two players represented and Arizona, Baylor, Oklahoma, South Florida, Texas, UCLA and Western Illinois each have one member among the Top 25 Finalists.
Just prior to the start of post-season play, on May 7 the list will be narrowed to the Top 10 Finalists. The Top 3 Finalists will be announced May 21, while the winner of the 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award will be revealed on May 27 prior to the start of the NCAA WCWS in Oklahoma City.
The USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award is voted on by coaching representatives from 11 Division I Conferences in the 15 ASA Regions, members of the media who consistently cover Division I Softball across the country as well as past winners of the award.
In addition to bestowing the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, ASA/USA Softball is now in its 11th season of presenting the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll and the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week, which are announced Tuesdays during the regular season. A complete history of the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award, past Top 25 Polls and Player of the Week honorees are available at Teamusa.org/USA-Softball/College-Corner.aspx.