Three Bruins Among 25 Finalists For USA Softball Collegiate Player Of The Year

April 9, 2003

OKLAHOMA CITY , OK - The Amateur Softball Association, the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States , announced today the 25 finalists for the 2003 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award. UCLA's Keira Goerl, Tairia Mims and Natasha Watley are among the finalists. The 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 that represent 19 colleges and 9 different Conferences.

The 25 finalists for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award, listed in alphabetical order, are:

Name School Hometown Pos. Class B/T
Nicole Barber Georgia Oregon City , OR CF Jr. L/L
Lauren Bay Oklahoma St . Trail, B.C., Canada P/OF Sr. R/L
Kara Brun Arizona St . Glendale , AZ SS Sr. R/R
Lindsay Chouinard DePaul Fresno , CA P/UT Sr. L/L
Jodie Cox Cal St. Fullerton Lancaster , CA P/OF Sr. L/L
Keira Goerl UCLA Moreno Valley , CA P Jr. R/R
Michelle Green Georgia Duluth , GA P/DP So. R/R
Leah Gulla Oklahoma Huntington Beach , CA IN Sr. R/R
Andrea Hillsey Purdue White Lake , MI 2B/SS So. R/R
Alicia Hollowell Arizona Suisun City , CA P Fr. R/R
Lovieanne Jung Arizona Fountain Valley , CA SS Sr. R/R
Kami Keiter Oklahoma Arvada , CA P/1B So. L/L
Oli Keohohou Brigham Young Newbury Park , CA OF Jr. R/R
Jessica van der Linden Florida St . Cerritos , CA P/OF Jr. L/L
Jackie McClain Alabama Soddy Daisy, TN 1B Jr. L/R
Iyhia McMichael Mississippi St . Nacogdoches , Texas OF Jr. R/R
Tairia Mims UCLA Tucson , AZ 1B/C Sr. R/R
Veronica Nelson California Oakland , CA 1B Sr. R/R
Cat Osterman Texas Houston , TX P So. L/L
Kristen Rivera Washington Perris , CA C/DP So. R/R
Dana Sorenson Stanford San Diego , CA P Jr. R/R
Jamie Southern Fresno St . Clovis , CA P/UT So. R/R
Jenny Topping Cal St. Fullerton Whittier , CA C/IF Sr. L/L
Lisa Wangler Nebraska Mesa , AZ OF Sr. L/R
Natasha Watley UCLA Irvine , CA SS Sr. L/R

Eight of the finalists from the 2002 top 25 return to the 2003 list. Those players include; Kara Brun, Keira Goerl, Lovieanne Jung, Oli Keohohou, Cat Osterman, Jamie Southern, Jenny Topping, and Natasha Watley.

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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