Feb. 4, 2013
BERKELEY - California's starting pitcher Jolene Henderson has been praised with two prestigious preseason accolades. The senior was named to the ESPN Preseason All-America Softball Team and earned a Top 50 spot on the Amateur Softball Association's USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List.
The Golden Bears ace led the team to its second consecutive trip to the Women's College World Series last season with a 38-4 record with 1.29 ERA and 332 strikeouts. She was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year and earned Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-America first team honors, and was also a top 11 finalist for the USA Softball Player of the year. Henderson is 78-12 in the circle through the past two seasons.
ESPN said Henderson "has proven herself an elite pitching ace in back-to-back trips to the Women's College World Series," and said, "You can't help but root for someone as relentlessly optimistic as Henderson."
She joins the ESPN Preseason All-America team along with elite pitchers 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Keilani Ricketts (Oklahoma) and Jackie Traina of Alabama, the 2012 WCWS National Champions.
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. Henderson is one of 50 student-athletes named to the list, which includes 27 seniors, 15 juniors and eight sophomores.
The Top 25 finalists 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 3 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.