OKLAHOMA CITY -- LSU outfielder A.J. Andrews was one of 50 players from across the country who was selected for the 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Top 50 Watch List announced Wednesday by the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball.
Now in its 13th year, the award is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by collegiate softball players across the country. The list includes 24 seniors, 20 junior and six sophomores. Freshmen are ineligible for consideration for the initial Top 50 list. There were 12 SEC players representing seven schools, the most by any conference.
LSU has had one player on the list during five of the last six seasons. Andrews will attempt to join fellow All-Americans Britni Sneed, Leslie Klein, Kristin Schmidt, Kirsten Shortridge and Rachele Fico as the only players in program history to be named as USA Softball Top 25 finalists.
Last season, Andrews became the 15th player in program history to claim NFCA All-America status in addition to NFCA All-South Region, All-SEC First-Team accolades. She batted leadoff in every game and turned in a team-leading .359 batting average (71-for-198) to go along with two home runs and 32 RBIs.
Andrews’ 71 hits checked in at ninth place on the SEC leaderboard, while the .359 hitting clip was a 144 point improvement from 2012. She produced a team-leading 19 multi-hit games and hit safely in 45 of 58 games which included 17 of her 23 SEC outings. Andrews scored a team-best 47 runs, LSU won 27 of 30 games when Andrews crossed the plate.
The ASA and USA Softball will trim its list down to 25 finalists on 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.
A week before NCAA Regionals are slated to begin, a list of 10 finalists will be named and released on May 7. The Top 3 finalists will be announced two weeks later on May 21. Leading into the 2014 Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, the 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be unveiled at the WCWS banquet on May 27.
In addition to bestowing the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, ASA/USA Softball is now in its 12th season of presenting the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll and the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week, which are announced Tuesdays during the regular season. LSU was ranked No. 19 in the preseason poll released on Wednesday.
2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Top 50 Watch List – January 29, 2014
Name, School, Position
A.J. Andrews, LSU, OF
Megan Baltzell, Longwood, C/INF
Jill Barrett, Tulsa, INF
Megan Blank, Iowa, INF
Kayla Bonstrom, Stanford, UTL
Hannan Campbell, South Alabama, P
Whitney Canion, Baylor, P
Ally Carda, UCLA, P/UTL
Lauren Chamberlain, Oklahoma, INF
Cheyenne Coyle, Arizona State, INF
Sara Driesenga, Michigan, P
Tatum Edwards, Nebraska, P
Dallas Escobedo, Arizona State, P
Amber Freeman, Arizona State, C
Vicky Galasso, Idaho State, C/INF
Jennifer Gilbert, Ball State, P/OF
Geri Ann Glasco, Georgia, P/INF
Lauren Haeger, Florida, P/INF
Cheridan Hawkins, Oregon, P
Victoria Hayward, Washington, OF
Kaila Hunt, Alabama, INF
Kaitlin Inglesby, Washington, P
Katie Keller, Louisville, INF
Emilee Koerner, Notre Dame, OF
Cali Lanphear, Texas A&M, C/OF
Stephany LaRosa, UCLA, UTL
Mary Massei, Wisconsin, OF
Haylie McCleney, Alabama, OF
Hayley Miles, San Diego State, UTL
Sara Nevins, South Florida, P
Haley Outon, Houston, C
Stephanie Pasquale, Temple, C/INF
Shelby Pendley, Oklahoma, INF
Alexa Peterson, Oregon, C
Ellen Renfroe, Tennessee, P
Kaitlin Richaardson, Minnesota, UTL
Hannah Rogers, Florida, P
Sierra Romero, Michigan, INF
Madison Shipman, Tennessee, INF
Janie Takeda, Oregon, OF
Taylor Thom, Texas, INF
Ashley Thomas, Georgia Tech, INF
Jackie Traina, Alabama, P
Andie Varsho, Purdue, OF
Lacey Waldrop, Florida State, P
Devon Wallace, Arkansas, UTL
Jordan Wallace, Louisiana-Lafayette, P
Hallie Wilson, Arizona, UTL
Paige Wilson, Georgia, INF
Laura Winter, Notre Dame, P