Carda and LaRosa Named to USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List
OKLAHOMA CITY - Seniors Ally Carda and Stephany LaRosa have been named to the 2015 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Top 50 Watch List, as announced by ASA/USA Softball on Wednesday.
Carda and LaRosa were each named to the Watch List last season, while Carda was a Top Three finalist for the USA Softball POY award, becoming the fourth different Bruin to be named a Top Three finalist.
In its 14th year, the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, given by the National Governing Body for softball in the United States, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country. Previous recipients of the award include former Bruin Stacey Nuveman, the winner of the inaugural accolade in 2002.
The pre-season Watch List includes 26 seniors, 18 juniors and six sophomores. Freshmen can be considered for the award once they have competed at the collegiate level. The Top 25 finalists for the award will be announced on April 8. While an athlete does not have to be on the Watch List to be considered for the Top 25, the eventual USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will come from the Top 25 finalists.
The Top 10 finalists will be announced on May 6 and the Top Three finalists will be announced on May 20. On May 26, prior to the start of the 2015 NCAA Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be revealed.
Carda was an NFCA First Team All-American and Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year in 2014, also earning All-Pac-12 First Team and NFCA All-Region First Team honors. She led the Bruins with a 1.90 earned run average, a 32-5 record and 230 strikeouts in 220 2/3 innings, recording 18 complete games, two saves and 13 shutouts (nine solo). Carda had five double-figure strikeout contests and was sixth in the nation in wins (second in Pac-12), 19th in shutouts (third in Pac-12), 31st in strikeouts (third in Pac-12) and fourth among league pitchers in ERA. At the plate, she was second on the team with a .394 batting average, tied for first with 55 runs batted in and third with 13 home runs. Carda also ranked first in hits (69), on base percentage (.537), hit by pitches (16) and total bases (123), second in runs scored (56) and slugging (.703), tied for second in doubles (11) and third in stolen bases (9). She was 12th in the country and first in the Pac-12 in on base percentage.
Last season, LaRosa was named NFCA First Team All-American and All-Region and First Team All-Pac-12 after ranking third on the squad in batting average (.367), second in home runs (14) and fourth in runs batted in (45). She was tops on the team with a .727 slugging and 46 walks and second with a .527 on base percentage. LaRosa also had 29 runs scored, 51 hits, eight doubles and 101 total bases, ranking fourth in the nation in walks per game and 22nd in on base percentage (fourth in Pac-12). She was third with 13 multiple-RBI games and fourth with 11 multi-hit contests. LaRosa reached base in a school-record 40 straight games (Feb. 16-May 24) and committed just two errors in 276 chances (.993 fielding percentage), making only six passed balls.
The Bruins, who are ranked sixth (ESPN.com/USA Softball) and seventh (USA Today/NFCA) in the preseason coaches polls, open the 2015 campaign next Thursday at Easton Stadium against Idaho State at 6 p.m.