Feb. 1, 2013
STANFORD, Calif. - The Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States, has released its initial watch list for the 12th annual USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award. Among the 50 preseason picks were Stanford seniors Teagan Gerhart and Jenna Rich and sophomore Hanna Winter.
The 50 picks in 2013 represent 34 schools and 12 different conferences. Stanford's selections were three of the 14 selections from the Pac-12, which tied Arizona State for the most selections in the conference.
Gerhart, a pitcher from Norco, Calif., is a three-time All-Pac-12 Conference pick and a three-time All-West Region selection. Over her career, she is a five-time Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week and three-time National Player of the Week honoree. Gerhart is third all-time at Stanford in career wins (80) and strikeouts (628), fourth in career shutouts (23) and innings pitched (709.2) and ninth in career ERA (2.14).
Rich, who will be Stanford's starting short stop this season, is a returning All-American for the Cardinal. The El Segundo, Calif., native is a three-time All-Pac-12 pick and a two-time All-West Region first team selection. In 2012, Rich led the Pac-12 and ranked 12th nationally with 66 RBI, tying the best output in a single season by a Stanford player. For her career, Rich ranks fourth in slugging percentage (.595), fifth in home runs (33) and RBI (162), sixth in triples (8), seventh in batting average (.332) and 10th in runs scored (123) at Stanford.
Winter, one of eight sophomores named to the watch list, was a first team All-Pac-12 selection and second team All-West Region pick last season. A native of Camarillo, Calif., Winter led the Pac-12 with 89 hits, which was the most by a rookie in school history and tied for the third-best single season output. She finished second in the conference and 19th nationally with a .428 batting average in 2012.
The ASA will announce the 25 finalists on April 10. A player does not have to appear on the initial watch list to be considered as a top 25 finalist, however, once the top 25 finalists are named, the winner of the award will come from that list. Freshmen qualify for the top 25 list once they have competed at the collegiate level.
A list of 10 finalists will be named and released on May 8 and the final three will be announced May 22. The winner of the 2013 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award will be announced on May 28. prior to the start of the 2013 NCAA 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. Previous recipients of the award are UCLA catcher Stacey Nuveman (2002), Texas pitcher Cat Osterman (2003, 2005 & 2006), Florida State pitcher Jessica Van der Linden (2004), Tennessee pitcher Monica Abbott (2007), Virginia Tech pitcher Angela Tincher (2008), Washington pitcher Danielle Lawrie (2009 & 2010), Stanford short stop Ashley Hansen (2011) and Oklahoma pitcher Keilani Ricketts (2012).
The Cardinal, ranked No. 20/21, opens the 2013 season on Thursday, Feb. 7 against Bradley in the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. Stanford will meet second-ranked Oklahoma and reigning Collegiate Player of the Year Ricketts on Friday, Feb. 8.