Three Huskies Named To USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List

Feb. 14, 2003

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Washington softball players Tia Bollinger (Santa Ana, Calif.), Jaime Clark (Tustin, Calif.) and Kristen Rivera (Perris, Calif.) have been named to the initial watch list for the second annual USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award, announced today by the Amateur Softball Association, the National Governing Body of USA Softball.

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 players across the country. The initial watch list is comprised of 40 players that represent 23 colleges and 11 different collegiate conferences.

Bollinger, a junior pitcher, was a 2001 third team All-American and a 2002 Pac-10 All-Conference honorable mention selection. Throughout her two full seasons, Bollinger has peppered the Husky record books. Last season, she led the Huskies in wins (20), strikeouts (172), complete games (11) and innings pitched (184). She set a UW and Pac-10 single-season record for most saves with seven. Bollinger also ranked second in the Pac-10 in ERA with a 0.97 mark.

Clark, a senior short stop, was a top 10 finalist for the 2002 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award. A three-time All-American, Clark led the nation with 75 RBIs last season and ranked first on the UW team in batting average (.431), runs scored (59), hits (84), doubles (14) and home runs (19). Clark is the school's all-time leader in home runs with 58 and is a three-time first team All-Pac-10 honoree.

Rivera, a sophomore catcher, established herself as one of the top hitters around during her freshman campaign. Rivera was the only freshman named to the first team All-Pac-10 team and was named to the USA Elite team but declined due to injury. Last season, Rivera hit .345 with 35 runs scored, 63 hits, 13 doubles and 16 home runs. She finished the conference schedule ranked second in home runs and RBIs.

The first 25 finalists for the award will be announced on April 8. The list will then be reduced to 10 players on April 29, with three finalists being named on May 13. The winner of the 2003 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award will be announced at the 2003 NCAA Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.

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