TEMPE – Three members of the No. 7 Arizona State University softball program have been named to the “Watch List” for the 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today.
All-American seniors Dallas Escobedo and Cheyenne Coyle as well as All-American junior and defending Pac-12 Player of the Year Amber Freeman were among the 50 student-athletes selected for the preseason honor, giving ASU a tie for the most selections in the country.
Escobedo returns in 2014 as a two-time All-American after earning the honor in 2011 and 2013. She has posted a career 91-17 record with a 2.02 career ERA while allowing opposing hitters to post just a .193 batting average against her in her career.
Escobedo is 27 wins shy of Katie Burkhart’s ASU record of 118 and this season will mark the third straight season that she has been named to the Preseason Top 50 Watch List.
Coyle made her first season at Arizona State a memorable one in 2013 as she tied the ASU single-season record for home runs with 20, which also places her 18th on ASU’s career homer list as well. She led the team with 66 RBIs in addition to leading the team’s starters with a .769 slugging percentage to go along with a .509 on-base percentage
Coyle was a first-team All-Conference selection and second-team All-American last season while also playing exceptional defensively at shortstop.
Freeman was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year following an exceptional season that saw her launch 18 home runs with 61 RBIs. Freeman finished the year batting .361, which was second on the team among starters.
Freeman posted a .716 slugging percentage alongside a .459 on-base percentage on the season and was named to the USA Softball National Team following the season.
The trio, along with Alix Johnson, give Arizona State four returning All-Americans this season - a mark that is tops in the nation.
The Sun Devils will open the season on Thursday, Feb. 6 against Creighton in the opener of the 2014 Kajikawa Classic. Tickets are now on sale and available through the following link.
About the Award Now in its 13th 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.
The preseason Watch List includes 24 seniors, 20 juniors and six sophomores, with freshman ineligible for consideration. (Freshman can be considered for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award once they have competed at the collegiate level.) Athletes named to the “Watch List” represent 36 NCAA Division I universities and 12 athletic conferences. Alabama, Arizona State and Oregon lead the way among universities with three athlete representatives each, and the Southeastern (SEC) Conference has the most member schools represented with seven.
The Top 25 Finalists for the 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award will be announced April 9. 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 May 7 and the Top 3 Finalists will be announced May 21. On May 27 prior to the start of the 2014 NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS) in Oklahoma City, the 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be revealed.
About ASA The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 76 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 200,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than three million. For more information on the ASA, visit http://www.asasoftball.com/.
About USA Softball USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links the USA Men’s, Women’s, Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ National Team programs together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won nine World Championship titles as well as claimed six World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com/.
About the NCAA Women’s College World Series The ASA Hall of Fame Stadium serves as the home to the NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS). For the 24th year, the top eight college teams in the nation will head to Oklahoma City and complete for a National Championship title. Last year, over 70,000 fans attended the WCWS. Experience It Live May 29 to June 4 in Oklahoma City. Tickets for the 2014 NCAA WCWS are on sale now, click here to purchase your tickets and make a date with champions!