May 9, 2013
Senior pitcher Jolene Henderson joins an elite group of nine other players considered finalists for the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. The award, presented by the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball, is considered the most prestigious honor in Division I softball and recognizes outstanding athletic achievements by female collegiate softball players across the country.
Henderson has led the Bears to 29 of its 35 wins thus far in 2013. Along the way, she broke the record for all-time pitching wins and now stands at 127 career wins with a 1.21 ERA this season. As one of two team captains, she provides stellar leadership from beyond the pitching circle and serves double-duty with a .248 batting average wih seven home runs and 19 RBI. Henderson is also a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award.
Three finalists from the list will be announced on May 22 and the Player of the Year will be revealed on May 28 prior to the start of the Women’s College World Series. This year’s finalists are comprised of seven seniors, two sophomores, and one freshman. The student-athletes selected represent seven NCAA Division I universities and five athletic conferences. Oklahoma leads the way among universities with three athlete representatives.
The USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award is selected by coaching representatives from 11 Division I Conferences in the 15 ASA Regions as well as members of the media who consistently cover Division I Softball across the country, and previous Player of the Year recipients.
Now in its 12th year, previous recipients of the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award are UCLA catcher Stacey Nuveman (2002), Texas pitcher Cat Osterman (2003, 2005 and 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 and 2010), Stanford shortstop Ashley Hansen (2011) and Oklahoma pitcher Keilani Ricketts (2012).
2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Top 10 Finalists
Lauren Chamberlain, Oklahoma
Raven Chavanne, Tennessee
Michelle Gascoigne, Oklahoma
Lauren Gibson, Tennessee
Jolene Henderson, California
Emilee Koerner, Notre Dame
Blaire Luna, Texas
Jessica Moore, Oregon
Keilani Ricketts, Oklahoma
Sierra Romero, Michigan