Cardinal Trio Makes Top-25 Player Of The Year Watch List

April 1, 2009

Stanford, Calif. - Stanford was well-represented when the 25 finalists for USA Softball's Collegiate Player of the Year award were announced today by the Amateur Softball Association of America. Junior outfielder Alissa Haber, freshman shortstop Ashley Hansen and senior pitcher Missy Penna are three of the 25 remaining contenders for collegiate softball's top annual honor.

The top-25 list represents 17 schools and seven different NCAA Division I conferences, with Haber, Penna and Hansen being three of the 10 picks from the Pac-10. Stanford's three selections matched the most of any school, as Arizona and Alabama also had three players chosen. Hansen was the nation's only freshman to earn a spot among the top 25.

The 25 finalists announced today are the only players remaining in contention for the 2009 award.

Haber, a two-time All-American, has led the Cardinal in nearly every offensive category since arriving on The Farm in 2007. This season, she owns a .441 batting average and a .766 slugging percentage, numbers that rank second only to the figures Jessica Mendoza posted when she became Stanford's first Pac-10 Player of the Year in 2000. Haber also ranks among the nation's top 10 this year in both doubles per game and runs per game.

Hansen has put a strong start to her collegiate career, hitting .427 with 11 doubles, four triples, two home runs and 33 RBI. The rookie carries the sixth-best batting average in the Pac-10, and ranks among the league's leaders in RBI, doubles and triples. Just seven weeks into her career, she has already posted 18 multi-hit games and earned the Louisville Slugger/NFCA National Player of the Week award.

Penna, the nation's active career strikeout leader, ranks among the top 10 pitchers in the country in four major pitching categories this year. She is the nation's shutout leader (13) and is second only to Louisville's Kristen Wadwell with 21 wins. Penna's 0.72 ERA ranks fourth nationally, while her 193 K's rank eighth. After shutting out then-No. 2 Washington twice last week, Penna swept both the USA Softball and NFCA National Player of the Week awards.

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 Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.

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. Past winners of this award include UCLA's Stacey Nuveman, Florida State's Jessica Van der Linden, three-time winner Texas pitcher Cat Osterman, Tennessee's Monica Abbott and Virginia Tech's Angela Tincher.

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