April 7, 2006
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech’s Whitney Haller was named as one of the 25 finalists for the 5th Annual USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award, announced by the Amateur Softball Association, the governing body of softball in the United States, on Friday.
“It’s a tremendous honor,” said Haller. “Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that I would have this kind of season as a freshman. I’m just out there competing as hard as I can, and to be mentioned with some of these great players, is amazing.”
Haller, a freshman from Marietta, Ga., set a new single-season record in the Atlantic Coast Conference with 17 home runs. She leads the ACC with 55 runs batted in, a .904 slugging percentage, 47 runs scored, 60 hits, 123 total bases and ranks second in the league with a .441 batting average.
“The coaching staff is very happy for Whitney,” said head coach Ehren Earleywine. “To be one of two freshmen on the list speaks volumes to the type of season she is having. It’s great to get some recognition, not just for her, but our program.”
The first baseman/pitcher is one of two freshmen that made the top 25, Arizona State’s Kaitlin Cochran. Haller also leads the ACC with six saves in the circle.
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 2006 NCAA Women’s College World Series.
Texas’ Cat Osterman became the first two-time winner of the National Player of the Year Award in 2005 after leading her Longhorns to the Big 12 title and a berth into the NCAA Women’s College World Series. Past winners of the award include Stacey Nuveman (UCLA-2002), Osterman (Texas-2003) and Jessica Van der Linden (Florida State-2004).
The Top 25 finalists for the 2006 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award, listed in alphabetical order, are:
|Monica Abbott||Tennessee||Salinas, CA||Senior||Pitcher|
|Lacey Bertucci||ULL||Folsom, LA||Junior||1B|
|Katie Burkhart||Arizona St.||San Luis Obispo, CA||Sophomore||Pitcher|
|Kaitlin Cochran||Arizona St||Yorba Linda, CA||Freshman||Outfield|
|Melanie Denischuk||UMBC||Poway, CA||Junior||1B/3B|
|Kristi Durant||Tennessee||Placentia, CA||Senior||3B/C|
|Sarah Fekete||Tennessee||Maryville, TN||Senior||Outfield|
|Danyele Gomez||ULL||Metairie, LA||Senior||Outfield|
|Jenna Hall||Illinois||Channahon, IL||Senior||1B|
|Whitney Haller||Georgia Tech||Marietta, GA||Freshman||1B/P|
|Alicia Hollowell||Arizona||Suisun, CA||Senior||Pitcher|
|Leslie Klein||LSU||Sunrise, FL||Junior||Outfield|
|Jodie Legaspi||UCLA||Garden Grove, CA||Junior||SS|
|Caitlin Lowe||Arizona||Tustin, CA||Junior||Outfield|
|Brianne McGowan||Oregon St.||Reno, NV||Junior||P/1B|
|Kellie Middleton||Georgia||Norcross, GA||Junior||Outfield|
|Cat Osterman||Texas||Houston, TX||Senior||Pitcher|
|Jennie Ritter||Michigan||Dexter, MI||Senior||Pitcher|
|Anjelica Selden||UCLA||Vacaville, CA||Sophomore||Pitcher|
|Kristina Thorson||California||Lake Forest Park, WA||Senior||Pitcher|
|Angela Tincher||Virginia Tech||Eagle Rock, VA||Sophomore||Pitcher|
|Stephanie VanBrakle||Alabama||Chambersburg, PA||Senior||Pitcher|
|Kristin Vesley||Oklahoma||Phoenix, AZ||Senior||Outfield|
|Desiree Williams||Texas||Tucson, AZ||Sophomore||P/UT|
|Haley Woods||California||Burlingame, CA||Senior||C/1B|