Alissa Haber and Missy Penna Named To Preseason Player Of The Year Watch List

Jan. 28, 2009

Stanford, Calif. - The Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States, has released its initial watch list for the eighth annual USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award. Among the 50 preseason picks were Stanford All-Americans Alissa Haber and Missy Penna.

The 50 picks in 2009 represent 32 different schools and 13 different conferences. Haber and Penna were two of the 13 selections from the Pac-10 Conference.

Haber, a junior outfielder, is a two-time All-American who has led the Cardinal in nearly every offensive category for the last two years. Haber hit .374 last season and became just the 10th player in school history to record 70 or more hits in a single year (77). Halfway through her career, her batting average ranks second only to two-time Olympian Jessica Mendoza.

Penna, Stanford's senior ace, is one of nine 2008 All-Americans returning to the circle this year, and the nation's only pitcher carrying more than 900 career strikeouts. A three-time All Pac-10 pick, Penna set a school record with 37 wins last season, pitched a school-best 335 innings and became the eighth player in Pac-10 history, and the first at Stanford, to record 400 or more strikeouts in a single year. She finished second in the Pac-10 and sixth nationally in wins last year and ranked among the nation's top 20 in both earned run average and opponent hits per game.

The ASA will announce the 25 finalists on April 1. A player does not have to appear on the initial watch list to be considered as a top 25 finalist, however, once the top 25 finalists are named, the winner of the award will come from that list. Freshmen qualify for the top 25 list once they have competed at the collegiate level.

A list of 10 finalists will be named and released on May 6 and the final three will be announced May 20. The winner of the 2009 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award will be announced prior to the start of the 2009 NCAA Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.

Last season, Haber and Penna were both among the 50 preseason picks. Penna joined Cardinal catcher Rosey Neill on the top 25 list last year.

The award, which is considered one of the most prestigious honors in collegiate softball, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country.

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