Top 10 Finalists Named For USA Softball Collegiate Player Of The Year

Top 10 Finalists Named For USA Softball Collegiate Player Of The Year

See the top 10 finalists for the 2021 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. Who's your pick?

May 5, 2021 by FloSoftball Staff
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OKLAHOMA CITY –– Only 10 Finalists remain in the hunt for the 2021 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, USA Softball announced today. The USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, which is considered the most prestigious honor in Division I women’s collegiate softball, recognizes the outstanding athletic achievement by Division I female players across the country.

Jocelyn Alo | Oklahoma | Utility | Senior

Sis Bates | Washington | Infield | Grad Student

Braxton Burnside | Arkansas | Infield | Grad Student

Valerie Cagle | Clemson | Pitcher | Freshman

Carrie Eberle | Oklahoma State | Pitcher | Senior

Rachel Garcia | UCLA | Pitcher/Infield | RS Senior

Mary Haff | Arkansas | Pitcher | RS Junior

Tiare Jennings | Oklahoma | Infield | Freshman

Kayla Kowalik | Kentucky | Catcher | Junior

Gabbie Plain | Washington | Pitcher | Senior


Previous recipients of the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award are Stacey Nuveman (UCLA, 2002), Cat Osterman (Texas, 2003, 2005 and 2006), Jessica Van der Linden (Florida State, 2004), Monica Abbott (Tennessee, 2007), Angela Tincher (Virginia Tech, 2008), Danielle Lawrie (Washington, 2009 and 2010), Ashley Hansen (Stanford, 2011), Keilani Ricketts (Oklahoma, 2012 and 2013), Lacey Waldrop (Florida State, 2014), Lauren Haeger (Florida, 2015), Sierra Romero (Michigan, 2016), Kelly Barnhill (Florida, 2017) and Rachel Garcia (UCLA, 2018 and 2019). A 2020 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award was not given out due to the COVID-19 pandemic and season cancellation.

The Finalists include two graduate students, four seniors, two juniors and two freshmen representing seven NCAA Division I universities and four athletic conferences. Among the universities, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Washington are represented by two student-athletes while Clemson, Kentucky, Oklahoma State and UCLA have one student-athlete on the list.

The Top 3 Finalists will be announced on Wednesday, May 19 before the 2021 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year is virtually revealed on June 1 prior to the 2021 NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS), which will take place at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex June 3-9. Additional information on the reveal will be announced at a later date.

In addition to bestowing the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, USA Softball is now in its 19th season of presenting the Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll, which is announced every Tuesday during the regular season. Follow along with NCAA Softball all season long at

About USA Softball
USA Softball (USAS) is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USAS sanctions competition through a network of Local Associations, which includes all 50 states and select metro associations. USAS is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch. USAS annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships. The USAS umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best trained umpires in the game.

As the NGB for the sport of softball, USAS is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USAS, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit,