Spartanburg, S.C. – USC Upstate standout sophomore outfielder Shellie Robinson has been named to the Top 50 "Watch List" for the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, announced the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and USA Softball today.
Robinson is the first player in the history of the Upstate program to make the "Watch List" and is among some of the nation's premiere players entering the season in consideration for college softball's top individual award.
"We are very fortunate to have an impact player such as Shellie on our team," said Chris Hawkins, now in his 19th season at the helm of the Upstate softball program. "She is very deserving of the recognition she continues to receive. She is a perfect example to all of our players on how to work hard and compete at a high level. She is a huge part of our success here at USC Upstate."
Robinson joins Oklahoma senior Keilani Ricketts, the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, and 48 other softball players on the Top 50 "Watch List" for this season. 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.
The pre-season "Watch List" includes 27 seniors, 15 juniors and eight sophomores, with freshman ineligible for consideration. Players named to the "Watch List" represent 34 NCAA Division I universities and 12 athletic conferences. The Pac-12 Conference and the Southeastern Conference each have eight member schools represented. Robinson is the only player from the A-Sun on the list.
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.
Robinson was named the A-Sun Freshman of the Year and was a first team all-conference pick in 2012. She was also named the Player of the Year by College Sports Madness after leading the Spartans to a third-place finish in the A-Sun and turning in an impressive offensive season. She was named the preseason player of the year by CSM this year.
Robinson was simply outstanding last season as a freshman. In addition to her conference accolades, she was an NFCA First Team All-Region selection. She finished the year with a gaudy .405 batting average and a Division I era school record 66 hits, 17 home runs and 49 runs scored. She also drove in 41 runs and posted a .816 slugging percentage. A true five-tool player, she ranked second on the team with 14 stolen bases and posted a solid .982 fielding percentage with six outfield assists and just one error. She also had 14 doubles on the year. She led the A-Sun in doubles, runs scored, slugging percentage and total bases, while ranking second in home runs, batting average and on-base percentage. She also ranked in the top 50 in the nation in five different categories.
2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List
Name (School) – Year – Position – Hometown
Emily Allard (Northwestern) – Senior – Utility – Antioch, Calif.
Nikki Armagost (Pacific) – Senior – Pitcher/Utility – Andover, Kan.
Marisa Bast (Northwestern) – Junior – Infield – Orange, Calif.
B.B. Bates (UCLA) – Senior – Outfield – Victorville, Calif.
Cassidy Bell (Penn State) – Senior – Outfield – Bakersfield, Calif.
Kayla Braud (Alabama) – Senior – Outfield – Eugene, Ore.
Amy Buntin (Notre Dame) – Senior – Catcher – Franklin, Tenn.
Whitney Canion (Baylor) – RS Junior – Pitcher – Aledo, Texas
Lauren Chamberlain (Oklahoma) – Sophomore – Trabuco Canyon, Calif.
Raven Chavanne (Tennessee) – Senior – Third base/Outfield – Thousand Oaks, Calif.
J.C. Clayton (BYU) – Senior – Infield – Hollister, Calif.
Brigette Del Ponte (Arizona) – Senior – Infield – Peoria, Ariz.
Mel Dumezich (Texas A&M) – Senior – Pitcher/Infield – Whiting, Ind.
Dallas Escobedo (Arizona State) – Junior – Pitcher – Glendale, Ariz.
Rachele Fico (LSU) – Senior – Pitcher – Oxford, Conn.
Amber Freeman (Arizona State) – Sophomore – Catcher – Lakewood, Calif.
Olivia Galati (Hofstra) – Senior – Pitcher/Designated Player – West Babylon, N.Y.
Teagan Gerhart (Stanford) – Senior – Pitcher – Norco, Calif.
Lauren Gibson (Tennessee) – Senior – Infield– Pasadena, Md.
Tara Glover (Boise State) – Junior – Outfield – Grants Pass, Ore.
Jolene Henderson (Cal) – Senior – Pitcher/First base – Elk Grove, Calif.
Taylor Hoagland (Texas) – Senior – Outfield/Third base – Flower Mound, Texas
Kylene Hopkins (Michigan State) – Senior – Outfield – Menifee, Calif.
Kaila Hunt (Alabama) – Junior – Infield – Evans, Ga.
Kaitlin Inglesby (Washington) – Junior – Pitcher – Portland, Ore.
Jessica Iwata (Hawaii) – Senior – Shortstop – Lihu'e, Hawaii
Alix Johnson (Arizona State) – Junior – Outfield – San Diego, Calif.
Stephany LaRosa (UCLA) – Sophomore – Diamond Bar, Calif.
Blaire Luna (Texas) – Senior – Pitcher – Austin, Texas
Hayley Miles (San Diego State) – Junior – Utility – Antelope, Calif.
Jessica Moore (Oregon) – Senior – Pitcher – Sutter, Calif.
Nerissa Myers (Louisiana-Lafayette) – Senior – Infield – Petal, Miss.
Sara Nevins (South Florida) – Junior – Pitcher – Pinellas Park, Fla.
Haley Outon (Houston) – Junior – Catcher – Pflugerville, Texas
Samantha Pappas (Oregon) – Senior – Outfield – Mission Viejo, Calif.
Ellen Renfroe (Tennessee) – Junior – Pitcher – Jackson, Tenn.
Jenna Rich (Stanford) – Senior – Infield – El Segundo, Calif.
Keilani Ricketts (Oklahoma) – Senior – Pitcher – San Jose, Calif.
Shellie Robinson (USC Upstate) – Sophomore – Outfield – DeLand, Fla.
Hannah Rogers (Florida) – Junior – Pitcher – Lake Wales, Fla.
Madison Shipman (Tennessee) – Junior – Infield – Valencia, Calif.
Jessica Shults (Oklahoma) – Senior – Catcher – Valencia, Calif.
Tess Sito (Georgia) – Senior – Pitcher/Utility – Elyria, Ohio
Chelsea Thomas (Missouri) – Senior – Pitcher – Pleasantville, Iowa
Jackie Traina (Alabama) – Junior – Pitcher/Designated player – Naples, Fla.
Kirsten Verdun (DePaul) – Junior – Pitcher/First Base – Coal City, Ill.
Haylie Wagner (Michigan) – Sophomore – Pitcher – Orange, Calif.
Devon Wallace (Arkansas) – Sophomore – Utility – Double Oak, Texas
Hallie Wilson (Arizona) – Sophomore – Outfield – Santa Ana, Calif.
Hanna Winter (Stanford) – Sophomore – Infield – Camarillo, Calif.
In addition to bestowing the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, ASA/USA Softball is now in its 11th season of presenting the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll and the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Week, which are announced Tuesdays during the regular season. The pre-season ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll was released Jan. 29 with Alabama, Oklahoma, California, Arizona State and Tennessee taking the Top 5 spots. The final poll of the 2013 season will be released on June 11 following the WCWS.