Kaitlin Cochran Named One Of Three Finalists For USA Softball's National Player of the Year Award

May 23, 2007

Oklahoma City---The Amateur Softball Association, the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States, announced today the three fi nalists for the sixth annual USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award. The winner of the 2007 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award will be announced Tuesday, May 29 during the opening ceremonies of the 2007 NCAA Women's College World Series.

The three finalists for the 2007 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award are:

Monica Abbott (Tennessee) - Senior - Pitcher - Salinas, Calif.

Kaitlin Cochran (Arizona State) - Sophomore - Outfielder - Yorba Linda, Calif.

Samantha Ricketts (Oklahoma) - Sophomore - First Base - San Jose, Calif.

'I don't honestly know what to say about this, it's never something I expected,' said a surprised Kaitlin Cochran. 'It was fl attering to be put on the pre-season list for the award, and to make the top-25 and even the top-10 list. Never did I imagine I would be in the three finalists for the USA Softball National Player of the Year award. It's not something I would ever expect with so many other amazing softball players in the nation. It's an amazing feeling to have someone think so highly of you, after the hours and the effort put in. Like I said every player in the nation puts in that time and work, but in receiving it I know that I'm not the only one being honored. My teammates, coaches, family and supporters also deserve this, and I cannot thank them enough for helping me become the athlete I am today.'

She has already been selected as the Pac-10 Player of the Year, her second Pac-10 Award after winning Freshman of the Year in 2006. She was also selected First-Team All-Region which qualifi es her to be named as a First-Team All-American.

Cat Osterman of the University of Texas became the fi rst 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).

Pac-10 players among the previous top-11 finalists included Arizona State's Katie Burkhart, Arizona's Caitlin Lowe, and Oregon's Jennifer Salling.

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