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Hoagland, Luna named to USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Texas senior outfielder/infielder Taylor Hoagland and senior pitcher Blaire Luna have been named to the preseason watch list for the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award, the Amateur Softball Association of America and USA Softball announced Friday. The two were placed on last year’s preseason watch list while Luna also earned a spot on the 2011 watch list.

Now in its 12th 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.

Hoagland is a three-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Central Region and All-Big 12 Conference selection. She was a second-team all-region honoree as a freshman and junior and received first-team accolades her sophomore year. All three seasons, the league has placed her on its first team.

The Flower Mound, Texas, native enters her senior year already owning the Texas career record for home runs with 44 and stands ninth in Big 12 history. She ranks third on the UT chart in runs scored with 154, just 12 behind program leader Lexy Bennett (2009-12, 166). Hoagland also checks in at fifth in career stolen bases with 59, six behind Brejae Washington’s 65, and ninth in career runs batted in with 104, trailing first-place Bennett (155) by 51. Hoagland and Desiree Williams (2005-09) are the only two players to be in the top five of the school’s home run and stolen base lists.

Luna is a three-time All-America selection as she earned second-team honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association in 2010 and 2011 and from Easton in 2012. As a freshman in 2010, she became the Longhorns’ first All-America honoree since four-time selection and Olympian Cat Osterman in 2006.

An Austin, Texas, product, Luna earned NFCA All-Central Region First Team honors in 2010 and 2011 and second-team accolades in 2012. Within the Big 12 Conference, she was an All-Big 12 First Team member in 2010 and 2011 and a second-team selection in 2012. Following her freshman campaign, she was tabbed the Big 12 Pitcher of the Year and Freshman of the Year.

The preseason watch list includes 27 seniors, 15 juniors and eight sophomores; freshman are ineligible for consideration. (Freshman can be considered once they have competed at the collegiate level.) Athletes named to the watch list represent 34 NCAA Division I universities and 12 athletic conferences.

The Top 25 Finalists for the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award will be announced April 10. 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 8 and the top three finalists will be announced May 22. On May 28, prior to the start of the 2013 NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS) in Oklahoma City, the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be revealed.

2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List
Name (School) - Year - Position - Hometown
Emily Allard (Northwestern) – Senior – Utility – Antioch, Calif.
Nikki Armagost (Pacific) – Senior – Pitcher/Utility – Andover, Kan.
Marisa Bast (Northwestern) – Junior – Infield – Orange, Calif.
B.B. Bates (UCLA) – Senior – Outfield – Victorville, Calif.
Cassidy Bell (Penn State) – Senior – Outfield – Bakersfield, Calif.
Kayla Braud (Alabama) – Senior – Outfield – Eugene, Ore.
Amy Buntin (Notre Dame) – Senior – Catcher – Franklin, Tenn.
Whitney Canion (Baylor) – RS Junior – Pitcher – Aledo, Texas
Lauren Chamberlain (Oklahoma) – Sophomore – Trabuco Canyon, Calif.
Raven Chavanne (Tennessee) – Senior – Third base/Outfield – Thousand Oaks, Calif.
J.C. Clayton (BYU) – Senior – Infield – Hollister, Calif.
Brigette Del Ponte (Arizona) – Senior – Infield – Peoria, Ariz.
Mel Dumezich (Texas A&M) – Senior – Pitcher/Infield – Whiting, Ind.
Dallas Escobedo (Arizona State) – Junior – Pitcher – Glendale, Ariz.
Rachele Fico (LSU) – Senior – Pitcher – Oxford, Conn.
Amber Freeman (Arizona State) – Sophomore – Catcher – Lakewood, Calif.
Olivia Galati (Hofstra) – Senior – Pitcher/Designated Player – West Babylon, N.Y.
Teagan Gerhart (Stanford) – Senior – Pitcher – Norco, Calif.
Lauren Gibson (Tennessee) – Senior – Infield– Pasadena, Md.
Tara Glover (Boise State) – Junior – Outfield – Grants Pass, Ore.
Jolene Henderson (Cal) – Senior – Pitcher/First base – Elk Grove, Calif.
Taylor Hoagland (Texas) – Senior – Outfield/Infield – Flower Mound, Texas
Kylene Hopkins (Michigan State) – Senior – Outfield – Menifee, Calif.
Kaila Hunt (Alabama) – Junior – Infield – Evans, Ga.
Kaitlin Inglesby (Washington) – Junior – Pitcher – Portland, Ore.
Jessica Iwata (Hawaii) – Senior – Shortstop – Lihu’e, Hawaii
Alix Johnson (Arizona State) – Junior – Outfield – San Diego, Calif.
Stephany LaRosa (UCLA) – Sophomore – Diamond Bar, Calif.
Blaire Luna (Texas) – Senior – Pitcher – Austin, Texas
Hayley Miles (San Diego State) – Junior – Utility – Antelope, Calif.
Jessica Moore (Oregon) – Senior – Pitcher – Sutter, Calif.
Nerissa Myers (Louisiana-Lafayette) – Senior – Infield – Petal, Miss.
Sara Nevins (South Florida) – Junior – Pitcher – Pinellas Park, Fla.
Haley Outon (Houston) – Junior – Catcher – Pflugerville, Texas
Samantha Pappas (Oregon) – Senior – Outfield – Mission Viejo, Calif.
Ellen Renfroe (Tennessee) – Junior – Pitcher – Jackson, Tenn.
Jenna Rich (Stanford) – Senior – Infield – El Segundo, Calif.
Keilani Ricketts (Oklahoma) – Senior – Pitcher – San Jose, Calif.
Shellie Robinson (USC Upstate) – Sophomore – Outfield – DeLand, Fla.
Hannah Rogers (Florida) – Junior – Pitcher – Lake Wales, Fla.
Madison Shipman (Tennessee) – Junior – Infield – Valencia, Calif.
Jessica Shults (Oklahoma) – Senior – Catcher – Valencia, Calif.
Tess Sito (Georgia) – Senior – Pitcher/Utility – Elyria, Ohio
Chelsea Thomas (Missouri) – Senior – Pitcher – Pleasantville, Iowa
Jackie Traina (Alabama) – Junior – Pitcher/Designated player – Naples, Fla.
Kirsten Verdun (DePaul) – Junior – Pitcher/First Base – Coal City, Ill.
Haylie Wagner (Michigan) – Sophomore – Pitcher – Orange, Calif.
Devon Wallace (Arkansas) – Sophomore – Utility – Double Oak, Texas
Hallie Wilson (Arizona) – Sophomore – Outfield – Santa Ana, Calif.
Hanna Winter (Stanford) – Sophomore – Infield – Camarillo, Calif.

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