Carmen Paez Selected as Finalist for 2008 USA Softball Player of the Year
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - The Amateur Softball Association, the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States, announced today the 25 finalists for the 2008 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award. Senior Carmen Paez became the first Eagle to be named a finalist for the national honor.
“We cannot be any prouder of Carmen for her accomplishments,” said head coach Dave Deiros. “She’s an integral part of our success. She has been especially effective in our transition to Division I. It’s is a great honor for us to have Carmen named to the short list of ‘Who’s Who’ in college softball.”
The USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award, which is considered one of the most prestigious honors in women's collegiate softball, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country.
Paez, the 2007 AFCA Division II Softball Player of the Year, has proven to be a leader for the Eagles as she has helped lead FGCU to a 43-11 overall record (11-1 A-Sun). She has earned Atlantic Sun Player of the Week honors three times this season and has been featured in Sports Illustrated. Paez currently leads the A-Sun in runs scored (66), RBI’s (65), total bases (134) and walks (64). Her 22 homeruns lead the nation.
“It is a great honor to be one of the 25 finalists for the 2008 Player of the year award, especially in our first Division I season,” said senior left fielder Carmen Paez. “There are a number of great players on the list and I feel fortunate to be among them. I would like to thank my coaches and teammates for their support because I could not earn this recognition alone.”
The Top 25 is comprised of players representing 18 colleges and ten different NCAA Division I Conferences. Among the list are eleven seniors, six juniors, five sophomores and three freshmen.
The Top 25 finalists for the 2008 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award, listed in alphabetical order, are:
Chelsea Bramlett (Mississippi State) – Sophomore – Catcher/Infield – Cordova, Tenn.
Katie Burkhart (Arizona State) – Senior – Pitcher – San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Tonya Callahan (Tennessee) – Senior – Infield – Holden, Mo.
Samantha Camuso (UCLA) – Freshman – Utility – Redding, Calif.
Kaitlin Cochran (Arizona State) - Junior – Outfield – Yorba Linda, Calif.
Samantha Findlay (Michigan) – Senior – First Base – Lockport, Ill.
Amber Flores (Oklahoma) – Sophomore – Outfield – Calexico, Calif.
Megan Gibson (Texas A&M) – Senior – Pitcher/First Base – Spring, Texas
Sam Marder (Ohio State) – Sophomore – Catcher – Calabasas, Calif.
DJ Mathis (Oklahoma) – Junior – Pitcher – East Alton, Ill.
Charlotte Morgan (Alabama) – Sophomore – Pitcher/Utility – Moreno Valley, Calif.
Rosey Neill (Stanford) – Sophomore – Catcher – Laguna Hills, Calif.
Stacey Nelson (Florida) – Junior – Pitcher – Los Alamitos, Calif.
Carmen Paez (Florida Gulf Coast) – Senior – Outfield – Belle Glade, Fla.
Missy Penna (Stanford) – Junior – Pitcher/Utility – Miami, Fla.
Kate Robinson (Hawaii) – Senior – Pitcher/First Base – Honolulu, Hawaii
Brittany Rogers (Alabama) – Junior – Outfield – Dacula, Ga.
Anjelica Selden (UCLA) – Senior – Pitcher – Vacaville, Calif.
Angel Shamblin (Houston) – Senior – Pitcher/Utility – Davie, Fla.
Holly Tankersley (Louisiana-Lafayette) – Senior – Designated Player/Outfield – Kirbyville, Texas
Jordan Taylor (Michigan) - Freshman – Pitcher – Valencia, Calif.
Angela Tincher (Virginia Tech) - Senior – Pitcher – Eagle Rock, Va.
Brooke Turner (Long Beach State) – Freshman – Pitcher – Buena Park, Calif.
Jackie Vasquez (Arizona State) – Senior – Outfield – Tucson, Ariz.
Tammy Williams (Northwestern) – Junior – Infield – Roscoe, Mo.
On May 7, just days before the start of post-season play, a list of 10 finalists will be named from the players on this list. On May 21, the list will be cut to three and those final three players will travel to Oklahoma City for the announcement of the winner at the 2008 NCAA Women's College World Series Party at the Park on May 27.
A replica of the award will be placed in a permanent display in the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, along with photos of the winner. An additional replica of the award will be presented to the player’s academic institution at a sporting event in the fall.
Tennessee’s Monica Abbott captured the 2007 honor before leading her team to the WCWS Final Series. Past winners of the award include Stacey Nuveman (UCLA-2002), Cat Osterman (Texas-2003, 2005 and 2006) and Jessica Van der Linden (Florida State-2004).
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 83 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 240,000 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 the 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 eight World Championship titles including the last six consecutive. For more information about USA Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com/.
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