Three Bruins Among USA Softball's Top 10

May 1, 2003

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - The Amateur Softball Association, the National Governing Body for Softball in the United States, announced the top 10 finalists for the 2003 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award on Wednesday. The group of 10 players includes three Bruins: Keira Goerl, Tairia Mims and Natasha Watley.

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 list is composed of the top 10 players representing seven colleges, and five conferences.

The 10 finalists for the USA Softball Player of the Year Award, listed in alphabetical order, are:


Name School Hometown Pos. Class B/T
Lauren Bay Oklahoma State Trail, B.C., Canada P Sr. R/L
Lindsay Chouinard DePaul Fresno, CA P/UT Sr. L/L
Keira Goerl UCLA Moreno Valley, CA P Jr. R/R
Alicia Hollowell Arizona Suisun City, CA P Fr. R/R
Lovieanne Jung Arizona Fountain Valley, CA SS Sr. R/R
Jessica van der Linden Florida State Cerritos, CA P/OF Jr. L/L
Iyhia McMichael Mississippi State Nacogdoches, TX OF Jr. R/R
Tairia Mims UCLA Tucson, AZ 1B/C Sr. R/R
Cat Osterman Texas Houston, TX P So. L/L
Natasha Watley UCLA Irvine, CA SS Sr. L/R

Four of the top 10 finalists from 2002 return to the 2003 list. Those players include: Keira Goerl, Lovieanne Jung, Cat Osterman, and Natasha Watley.

The top three finalists will be announced May 13 and the winner of the 2003 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award will be honored 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, FL, 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.

Photos of each of the finalists along with current statistics can be found on the USA Softball web page at www.usasoftball.com under the College Corner section.

UCLA catcher Stacey Nuveman was selected as the inaugural winner of the award in 2002 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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