Penna, Neill Earn Spots On Top-25 Player Of The Year Watch List

April 9, 2008

Stanford, Calif. - Stanford's Missy Penna and Rosey Neill nabbed two of the spots on the latest USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List, announced The Amateur Softball Association today. The initial 50-player list has been trimmed to 25 finalists, including Neill and Penna. This 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.

Penna, who was also a member of the original preseason top-50 watch list this season, remains one of the nation's top pitchers. She owns a 1.02 ERA, and leads the Pac-10 with 23 wins. In first weekend of the season, she threw her third career no-hitter, as well as three of her 10 shutouts, and was named USA Softball's National Player of the Week. Penna currently boasts a .147 opposing average and 251 strikeouts. She became just the second pitcher in school history to reach 700 career strikeouts against Arizona State on Mar. 30.

Neill, who was added to the top-25 list based on her accomplishments this season, has had a breakout offensive year. The Cardinal catcher is ranked among the nation's top-five in both slugging percentage (.847) and homeruns (0.39 per game), and, with 16 homers, is within three long balls of matching Stanford's single-season record. She has captured the Pac-10 Player of the Week award twice already, and has hit at least one homerun every week of the season. On the year, Neill is batting .373 with eight doubles, 16 homeruns and a team-high 43 RBI.

The Top 25 is comprised of players representing 18 colleges and ten different NCAA Division I Conferences. Among the list are eleven seniors, six juniors, five sophomores and three freshmen.

On May 7, just days before the start of postseason play, a list of 10 finalists will be named from the players on this list. On May 21, 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 2008 NCAA Women's College World Series Party at the Park on May 27.

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 at a sporting event in the fall.

Tennessee's Monica Abbott captured the 2007 honor before leading her team to the WCWS Final Series. Past winners of the award include Stacey Nuveman (UCLA-2002), Cat Osterman (Texas-2003, 2005 and 2006) and Jessica Van der Linden (Florida State-2004).

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