April 10, 2013
TOP 25 FINALISTS
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced that four Alabama players were among the Top 25 finalists for the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, the organization announced Wednesday. Senior Kayla Braud, juniors Kaila Hunt and Jackie Traina and freshman Haylie McCleneywere tabbed finalists to give the Tide a nation-leading four selections.
This year's Top 25 is comprised of 11 seniors, eight juniors, four sophomores and two freshmen. The student-athletes selected represent 17 NCAA Division I universities and five athletic conferences. Alabama leads the way among universities with four athlete representatives, followed by Oklahoma and Tennessee with three apiece, Texas with two and Arizona State, Arkansas, California, Florida, Louisville, LSU, Michigan, Missouri, Notre Dame, Oregon, Penn State, South Florida and Washington each have one member among the Top 25 Finalists.
McCleney enters Wednesday's contest with a team-best .473 average, 50 runs, 62 hits and 10 doubles while adding three home runs, 30 RBI and 25 stolen bases. Braud closely follows with a .438 average, adding 57 hits, 44 runs and 34 stolen bases.
Hunt currently bats .404 with 11 home runs and a team-high 44 RBI while slugging .781. Traina offensively leads the team with 13 home runs and adds 39 RBI, a .357 average and a .786 slugging percentage. In the circle, Traina is 17-3 with a 1.88 ERA and has struck out 161 in 137 2/3 innings.
Just prior to the start of postseason play, on May 8 the list will be narrowed to the Top 10 Finalists. The Top 3 Finalists will be announced May 22, while the winner of the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award will be revealed on May 28 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 as well as members of the media who consistently cover Division I Softball across the country.
Now in its 12th 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), who is also among the list of Top 25 Finalists this season.