Bell a finalist for USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year

 

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Senior Cassidy Bell has slugged her way onto the Top 25 Finalist list for the 2013 USA Softball Player of the Year award, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced.

Ten finalists will make the May 8 list before the group is narrowed to the three May 22. The winner of the award will be announced in the lead-up to the 2013 NCAA Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City May 28.

Bell's 16 home runs lead the Big Ten this season and have tied a single-season program record while her .462 batting average is second in the conference and her RBI and total bases numbers ranked in the top three. Through April 7, Bell ranked in the top 15 nationally in home runs per game (2nd/0.48), slugging percentage (2nd/1.079), on-base percentage (9th/.564) and batting average (12th/.461). She also nears the top of the charts in runs batter in per game (29th/1.13) and runs per game (24th/1.06). Noting her offensive capabilities, opposing teams have opted to intentionally walk Bell 11 times this season.

In just 33 games, Bell has set personal bests in runs (38), home runs (16), RBI (36), walks (24) while tying a career-high with 11 stolen bases. She is also on pace to top her previous batting averages (.462) and slugging (1.086) and on-base percentages (.576). Bell has recorded 28 multiple-RBI performances in her career, including 10 this season, while racking up 54 games with two or more hits with 12 in 2013. After ending the 2012 season with an 11-game hitting streak, beginning April 25 against Kent State, Bell extended the effort to 22 games this year before finishing 0-2 with two walks against Central Michigan March 5.

Bell has been consistently dangerous at the plate in her four years at Penn State, where she has started every game she's played in. Her production has put her in the Top 5 in the school's career record books in home runs (33), RBI (104), runs (124), total bases (339) and batting average (.353). Currently, Bell is tied for ninth in hits (190), sixth in doubles (36) and 11th in stolen bases (35). In 2012, Bell set the program record with a .423 average at the dish.

The Nittany Lion slugger is one of 11 seniors on the list, while eight juniors, four sophomores and two freshmen round out the group from 17 NCAA Division I universities. Bell is joined on the list by one fellow Big Ten representative, freshman Sierra Romero of Michigan.

The USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award is voted on 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.

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Last Updated April 12, 2013