Four Pac-10 Players Among Finalists for USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year

May 9, 2007

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Oklahoma City---The Amateur Softball Association, the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States, announced today the top ten finalists for the 6th Annual USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award. For the first time in six years, the top ten finalists actually consist of 11 players after there was a tie for the 10th position.

Among the 11 finalists are Arizona State's Kaitlin Cochran and Katie Burkhart, Oregon's Jennifer Salling, and Arizona's Caitlin Lowe. Cochran currently leads the nation in batting average with a .500 mark, while Salling is right behind in second place with a .496 average. Salling is the only freshman among the finalists. Lowe, a senior, has been a finalist for the award every year of her career. She leads the nation with 44 stolen bases and has not been caught once, and her .438 batting average is 18th nationally. Burkhart has a record of 28-10 and leads the Pac-10 in ERA and strikeouts.

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).

Top 11 Finalists listed in alphabetical order are:

Monica Abbott (Tennessee) - Senior - Pitcher - Salinas, Calif.
Katie Burkhart (Arizona State) - Junior - Pitcher - San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Kaitlin Cochran (Arizona State) - Sophomore - Outfielder - Yorba Linda, Calif.

Norrelle Dickson (Oklahoma) - Senior - Third Base - Orange, Calif.
Caitlin Lever (Georgia Tech) - Senior - Outfielder - Amherst, NY
Caitlin Lowe (Arizona) - Senior - Outfielder - Tustin, Calif.
Samantha Ricketts (Oklahoma) - Sophomore - First Base - San Jose, Calif.
Jenn Salling (Oregon) - Freshman - Shortstop - Port Coquitlam, B.C.
Amanda Scarborough (Texas A&M) - Junior - Pitcher/First Base - Magnolia, Texas
Lindsay Schutzler (Tennessee) - Senior - Outfielder - Monterey, Calif.
Angela Tincher (Virginia Tech) - Junior - Pitcher - Eagle Rock, Va.

For complete stats and photos of the 2007 Top 11 Finalists visit the 'College Corner' section of USA Softball's official website - www.usasoftball.com.

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