Woods, Thorson Finalists for USA Softball Player of the Year

April 7, 2006

Oklahoma City, Okla. - Cal seniors Haley Woods (catcher) and Kristina Thorson (pitcher) are among the 25 finalists for the 5th Annual USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award, the Amateur Softball Association announced Friday. The award, which is considered the Heisman Trophy in women's collegiate softball, is designed to recognize the top college softball players across the country.

Thorson was named to the award's pre-season watch list, which was comprised of 50 players. Woods was added to the 25 finalists after her impressive performance so far this season. The Top 25 is comprised of players representing 18 colleges and seven different NCAA Division I Conferences. Among the list are 12 seniors, seven juniors, four sophomores and two freshmen.

Thorson, a native of Lake Forest Park, Wash., is 23-3 this season and leads the Pac-10 in batters struck out (239), batters struck out looking (90), innings pitched (157.1), wins (23), saves (4), appearances (30) and games started (22).

Woods leads the Pac-10 in doubles (13) and is second in RBI (42), slugging percentage (.857), home runs (12) and total bases (96). She is third in hits (47). The Burlingame, Calif., native has already started breaking records this season and is poised to break more. She started the season fifth on Cal's career RBI list (136) and has since moved into first on the career charts. With 44 this season, Woods has 180 in her career.

On May 10, 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.

Past winners of the award include Stacey Nuveman (UCLA, 2002), Cat 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, PitcherLacey Bertucci, ULL, 1BKatie Burkhart, Arizona St., PitcherKaitlin Cochran, Arizona St, OutfieldMelanie Denischuk, UMBC, 1B/3BKristi Durant, Tennessee, 3B/CSarah Fekete, Tennessee, OutfieldDanyele Gomez, ULL, OutfieldJenna Hall, Illinois, 1BWhitney Haller, Georgia Tech, 1B/PAlicia Hollowell, Arizona, PitcherLeslie Klein, LSU, OutfieldJodie Legaspi, UCLA, SSCaitlin Lowe, Arizona, OutfieldBrianne McGowan, Oregon St., P/1BKellie Middleton, Georgia, OutfieldCat Osterman, Texas, PitcherJennie Ritter, Michigan, PitcherAnjelica Selden, UCLA, PitcherKristina Thorson, California, PitcherAngela Tincher, Virginia Tech, PitcherStephanie VanBrakle, Alabama, PitcherKristin Vesley, Oklahoma, OutfieldDesiree Williams, Texas, P/UTHaley Woods, California, C/1B
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