Kristen Rivera Named Top-10 Finalist for USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year

May 11, 2005

SEATTLE-- The Amateur Softball Association has announced that senior Washington catcher Kristen Rivera is among 10 finalists for the Fourth Annual USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award. The award is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country. Rivera has made the top-10 list each of the last three years.

Rivera, a three-time All-American and 2004 Pac-10 Player of the Year, holds Washington all-time records for home runs in a career (76), season (25) and game (3). She set school records for walks in a season (59) and game (4) this year and is five walks short of the Husky career record of 175 .

She leads the country with 1.23 walks per game and a .980 slugging percentage. Rivera also ranks second nationally in home runs per game (0.38) and is 15th in runs batted in per game (1.02).

She boasts a team-high .382 batting average and leads the Huskies with 18 home runs and 49 RBIs.

Also named to the list of finalists are Tennessee pitcher Monica Abbott, Arizona outfielder Caitlin Lowe, Michigan shortstop Jessica Merchant, Texas pitcher Cat Osterman, Michigan pitcher Jennie Ritter, Oklahoma catcher Heather Scaglione, Texas A&M pitcher Amanda Scarborough, Fresno State pitcher Jamie Southern and Oklahoma outfielder Kristin Vesely.

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 2005 NCAA Women's College World Series.

Florida State's Jessica Van der Linden was selected as the 2004 winner after leading her Seminoles to the ACC title and a berth to the WCWS. Washington pitching coach Eve Gaw coached Van der Linden during the 2003 and 2004 seasons.

Other past winners of the award include Stacey Nuveman (UCLA-2002) and Cat Osterman (Texas-2003).