UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Senior outfielder Cassidy Bell of the Penn State softball team has been named to the Top 50 "Watch List" for the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced Friday afternoon (Feb. 1). Bell is the first Nittany Lion to make the preseason list.
The Bakersfield, Calif., native was a unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selection last season, the only field player in the conference selected unanimously. Also a National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Great Lakes first-team selection, Bell broke the single-season batting average program record set by Nan Sichler (.413) in 1988, swinging her way to a .423 average. She also etched her name at the top of the Penn State single-season slugging percentage charts (.784) and finished second on the all-time list in on-base percentage (.529), despite missing 18 games due to an emergency appendectomy.
Bell is one of five Big Ten players on the list, joining Emily Allard and Marisa Bast of Northwestern, Kylene Hopkins of Michigan State and Haylie Wagner of Michigan.
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 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.
Penn State kicks off its 2013 campaign Feb. 15 at the Troy Cox Classic, hosted by New Mexico State in Las Cruces, N.M. The Nittany Lions' home opener is set for March 29 for a three-game series against Michigan at Beard Field at Nittany Lion Softball Park.
The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation's largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 76 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 200,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than three million. For more information on the ASA, visit http://www.asasoftball.com/.
About USA Softball
USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links the USA Men's, Women's, Junior Boys' and Junior Girls' National Team programs together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women's National Team is one of only two women's sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won nine World Championship titles as well as claimed six World Cup of Softball titles. For more information about USA Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com/.
About the NCAA Women's College World Series
The ASA Hall of Fame Stadium serves as the home to the NCAA Women's College World Series (WCWS). For the 23rd year, the top eight college teams in the nation will head to Oklahoma City and complete for a National Championship title. Last year, more than 75,000 fans attended the WCWS. Experience It Live May 30 to June 5 in Oklahoma City. Tickets for the 2013 NCAA WCWS are on sale now. Click here to purchase tickets.