Oklahoma City, Okla. - Pacific junior standout Nikki Armagost has been selected for the "Watch List" for the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America announced today. Now in its 11th year, the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, given by the National Governing Body for softball in the United States, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country.
Armagost was named the Big West's Player of the Year in 2011 and earned All-Pacific Region honors last season as a sophomore. She is the first Tiger to be named to the "Watch List" since former slugger Jennifer Curtier (2004-07) was named to the preseason list before the 2006 season.
Stanford senior Ashley Hansen, the 2011 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, headlines the list that includes 23 seniors, 20 juniors and seven 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 31 NCAA Division I universities and 13 athletic conferences. While Cal, Florida, Michigan, Tennessee and Texas lead the way among universities with three athlete representatives each, the Big 12 Conference and the Pacific-12 (Pac-12) Conference have six member schools represented.
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 (2003, 2005 and 2006), Florida State pitcher Jessica Van der Linden (2004), Tennessee pitcher Monica Abbott (2007), Virginia Tech pitcher Angela Tincher (2008) and Washington pitcher Danielle Lawrie (2009 and 2010).
The Top 25 Finalists for the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award will be announced April 11. 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 9 and the Top 3 Finalists will be announced May 23. On May 29 prior to the start of the 2012 NCAA Women's College World Series (WCWS) in Oklahoma City, the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be revealed.
2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List
Name (School) – Year – Position – Hometown
Emily Allard (Northwestern) – Junior – Shortstop – Antioch, Calif.
Valerie Arioto (Cal) – Senior – Utility – Pleasanton, Calif.
Nikki Armagost (Pacific) – Junior – Pitcher/Utility – Andover, Kan.
Lexy Bennett (Texas) – Senior – Infield – Kingwood, Texas
Emily Bledsoe (Texas Tech) – Senior – Infield – Fulshear, Texas
Katelyn Boyd (Arizona State) – Senior – Shortstop – Phoenix, Ariz.
Kayla Braud (Alabama) – Junior – Outfield – Eugene, Ore.
Devon Bridges (Boise State) – Sophomore – Outfield/First base – Danville, Calif.
Jenna Caira (Syracuse) – Senior – Pitcher – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Whitney Canion (Baylor) – Junior – Pitcher – Aledo, Texas
Raven Chavanne (Tennessee) – Junior – Third base/Outfield – Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Amanda Chidester (Michigan) – Senior – Third base – Allen Park, Mich.
Aimee Creger (Tulsa) – Sophomore – Pitcher – Yukon, Okla.
Brigette Del Ponte (Arizona) – Junior – Infield – Peoria, Ariz.
Taylor Edwards (Nebraska) – Sophomore – Catcher – Murrieta, Calif.
Dallas Escobedo (Arizona State) – Sophomore – Pitcher – Glendale, Ariz.
Bree Evans (Michigan) – Senior – Centerfield – Bloomington, Calif.
Ashley Fleming (Missouri) – Senior – Outfield – Silex, Mo.
Kenzie Fowler (Arizona) – Junior – Pitcher – Tucson, Ariz.
Kellie Fox (UCLA) – Sophomore – Shortstop – San Diego, Calif.
Olivia Galati (Hofstra) – Junior – Pitcher/Designated player – West Babylon, N.Y.
Lauren Gibson (Tennessee) – Junior – Infield– Pasadena, Md.
Ashley Hansen (Stanford) – Senior – Infield – Chandler, Ariz.
Andrea Harrison (UCLA) – Senior – Left field/First base – Garden Grove, Calif.
Jolene Henderson (Cal) – Junior – Pitcher/First base – Elk Grove, Calif.
Taylor Hoagland (Texas) – Junior – Outfield/Third base – Flower Mound, Texas
Jessica Iwata (Hawaii) – Junior – Shortstop – Lihu'e, Hawaii
Ashley Lane (Michigan) – Junior – Second base – Escondido, Calif.
Blaire Luna (Texas) – Junior – Pitcher – Austin, Texas
Meagan May (Texas A&M) – Junior – Catcher/First base – Spring, Texas
Ashley McClain (FIU) – Senior – Outfield/Pitcher – Brandon, Fla.
Dani Miller (Notre Dame) – Senior – Infield – Huntington Beach, Calif.
Jen Mineau (Fordham) – Senior – Pitcher – Schaghticoke, N.Y.
Adrienne Monka (Northwestern) – Senior – First base – Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
Michelle Moultrie (Florida) – Senior – Center field – Jacksonville, Fla.
Christi Orgeron (ULL) – Senior – Outfield – New Orleans, La.
Sara Plourde (UMass) – Senior – Pitcher – Bristol, Conn.
Kimi Pohlman (Washington) – Senior – Outfield – Sammamish, Wash.
Jamia Reid (Cal) – Senior – Outfield – Buena Park, Calif.
Ellen Renfroe (Tennessee) – Sophomore – Pitcher – Jackson, Tenn.
Keilani Ricketts (Oklahoma) – Junior – Pitcher – San Jose, Calif.
Rachel Riley (Kentucky) – Senior – Pitcher/Designated player – Bowling Green, Ky.
Hannah Rogers (Florida) – Senior – Pitcher – Lake Wales, Fla.
Brittany Schutte (Florida) – Junior – Catcher – Fountain Valley, Calif.
Kathy Shelton (Baylor) – Junior – Outfield – McKinney, Texas
Jessica Shults (Oklahoma) – Junior – Catcher – Valencia, Calif.
Chelsea Thomas (Missouri) – Redshirt Junior – Pitcher – Pleasantville, Iowa
Jackie Traina (Alabama) – Sophomore – Pitcher/Designated player – Naples, Fla.
Kelsi Weseman (Georgia Tech) – Senior – Shortstop - Hutto, Texas
Niki Williams (Washington) – Senior – Utility – Mission Viejo, Calif.