Photo Courtesy: UA Athletics (Gunnar Rathbun)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) - Sophomore Devon Wallace was named one of the Top 25 finalists for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced Wednesday.
Wallace joins an elite list of finalists for the award, which is considered the most prestigious honor in Division I women's collegiate softball. Previous winners include 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). Ricketts is also up for the award this year.
On May 8 the list will be narrowed to the Top 10 Finalists. The Top three Finalists will be announced May 22, while the winner of the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award will be selected on May 28 prior to the start of the NCAA WCWS in Oklahoma City. The 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.
A complete list of the finalists for the award can be found here.
The 2012 SEC Freshman of the Year, Wallace, currently leads the NCAA and SEC in walks with 52. The leadoff batter for the Razorbacks also leads the SEC in on base percentage (.626). She is third in the SEC with 45 runs scored and an .856 slugging percentage. She places sixth in the SEC with 12 homeruns.
The Double Oak, Texas native has already had a monumental impact on the program this season. In game two against No. 22 Georgia on March 30, she hit a walk-off grand slam. The blast helped send Arkansas to its first sweep over a ranked opponent since March 2000. In game three against No. 13 LSU on April 7, she walked three times to give her a career total of 105. She passed Sandra Smith's total of 103 and cemented her place as Arkansas' all-time walks leader. Last season, she became the first Razorback in history to be named first team All-SEC.
Wallace and her teammates head to Columbia, Mo. this weekend to take on the No. 8 Missouri Tigers. Game one of the series is Friday at 6 p.m. Games two and three will follow on Saturday and Sunday, both games will start at 2 p.m.
You can listen to all three games of the Missouri series on Razorvision or on 88.3 FM in Fayetteville. Game three can be viewed on ESPNU, this is the first game for the Hogs on the ESPN family of networks this season.