May 9, 2007
ATLANTA – Senior Caitlin Lever was named as a top 10 finalist for the USA Collegiate Softball Player of the Year, announced by the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) on Wednesday afternoon. Lever, a native of Amherst, N.Y., is the first Yellow Jacket to make the final 10.
Joining Lever on the list from the Atlantic Coast Conference is Virginia Tech’s junior pitcher Angela `Animal’ Tincher. Lever is fifth in the nation with a .465 batting average, and tied a single-season school record with 87 hits, tops in the ACC. Lever also has 10 home runs, 57 runs batted in, a .765 slugging percentage and an impressive .452 on base percentage.
The other nine players that made this list (11 players were selected due to a tie for 10th place) were senior pitcher Monica Abbot (Tennessee), junior pitcher Katie Burkhardt (Arizona State), sophomore outfielder Kaitlin Cochran (Arizona State), senior third baseman Norelle Dickson (Oklahoma), senior outfielder Caitlin Lowe (Arizona), sophomore first baseman Samantha Ricketts (Oklahoma), freshman shortstop Jenn Salling (Oregon), junior pitcher/first baseman Amanda Scarborough (Texas A&M) and senior outfielder Lindsay Schutzler (Tennessee).
An initial “Watch List” was released on January 30 and the list of 25 finalists was announced on April 4. The USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, in its sixth year, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by NCAA Division I collegiate softball players across the country.
The eleven finalists for the 6th Annual USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award, consists of three players who were selected as top 10 finalists in 2006. There are also five seniors, three juniors, two sophomores and one freshman among the list.
On May 29 the list will be cut to three and those final three players will travel to Oklahoma City for the announcement of the winner of the 6th Annual USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award during opening ceremonies of the 2007 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 during an athletic event in the fall.
Cat Osterman of the University of Texas became the first three-time winner of the National Player of the Year Award in 2006 after leading her Longhorns to the Big 12 regular season 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, 2005, 2006) and Jessica Van der Linden (Florida State-2004).
For complete stats and photos of the 2007 Top 11 Finalists visit the “College Corner” section of USA Softball’s official website – USA SOFTBALL.