Nelson Named as Top 25 Finalist For National Player of Year Award

April 9, 2003

California senior first baseman Veronica Nelson (Oakland, CA) was named by the Amateur Softball Association, the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States, as one of 25 finalists for the 2003 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award, announced Wednesday.

This award, which is considered the Heisman Trophy in women's collegiate softball and is the only national player of the year award, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country.

The final list is comprised of 25 players - nine from the Pac-10 - that represent 19 colleges and 9 different conferences. The players, listed in alphabetical order, are:

 Nicole Barber, GeorgiaLauren Bay,Oklahoma St.Kara Brun, Arizona St.Lindsay Chouinard, DePaulJodie Cox, Cal St. FullertonKeira Goerl, UCLAMichelle Green, GeorgiaLeah Gulla, OklahomaAndrea Hillsey, PurdueAlicia Hollowell, ArizonaLovieanne Jung, ArizonaKami Keiter, OklahomaOli Keohohou, Brigham YoungJessica van der Linden, Florida St.Jackie McClain, AlabamaLyhia McMichael, Mississippi St.Tairia Mims, UCLAVeronica Nelson, CaliforniaCat Osterman, TexasKristen Rivera, WashingtonDana Sorenson, StanfordJamie Southern, Fresno St.Jenny Topping, Cal St. FullertonLisa Wangler, NebraskaNatasha Watley, UCLA

Nelson holds the all-time Cal career records for home runs (51), walks (360), RBIs (159) and slugging percentage (.661). She set the NCAA single season walk record in the Bears' national championship 2002 season with 108. Currently Nelson posts 72 walks in 74 at bats, 43 games this season. She leads the team in batting average (.392), home runs (9), and slugging percentage (.757) and is second on the team with 26 RBIs. Currently she has a .987 fielding average and .689 slugging percentage.

Catcher Courtney Scott was also named to the initial list of 50 players to watch, announced in February.

The list will be reduced to ten players on April 29 and three finalists will be announced May 13. The winner of the 2003 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award will be announced May 21 at the opening ceremonies of the NCAA College World Series in Oklahoma City, OK. The winner will be recognized and presented with the Player of the Year trophy during the ASA National Council Meeting in Orlando, Fla., in November.

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.

UCLA catcher Stacey Nuveman was selected as the inaugural winner of the award after leading her Bruins to the Pac-10 title and a berth into the Women's College World Series.

The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of amateur softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. As the National Governing Body, the ASA is responsible for identifying, selecting and training male and female athletes to compete in World, Pan American and Olympic competitions. It is also responsible for promoting and growing the sport of softball across the country.

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