NORMAN, Okla. Senior center fielder Kristin Vesely has been named one of 25 candidates for USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, announced the Amateur Softball Association, the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States. It marks the second consecutive year that Vesely has made the list of 25.
Vesely, a 2005 All-American, has continued where she left off last season. The Phoenix, Ariz., native is hitting a Big 12-best .480 on the year and leads the conference in hits (61), doubles (12) and on base percentage (.558).
Additionally, Vesely ranks no lower than fifth in six other offensive categories in the conference. The center fielder has already surpassed her career high for RBI in a season (30) with 37 hit on the year.
Among the Big 12, Vesely was one of only three league candidates named to the list of 25. Cat Osterman and Desiree Williams, both of Texas, are the other two.
Vesely was on the Preseason Watch List that was comprised of 40 players. She was joined by fellow Sooner Norrelle Dickson.
On May 10, just days before the start of post-season play, a list of 10 finalists will be named. On May 31 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 2006 NCAA Women’s College World Series.
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.
Osterman became the first two-time winner of the National Player of the Year Award in 2005 after leading her Longhorns to the Big 12 title and a berth into the NCAA Women’s College World Series. Past winners of the award include Stacey Nuveman (UCLA-2002), Osterman (Texas-2003) and Jessica Van der Linden (Florida State-2004).
Vesely and the Sooners continue Big 12 action Monday as they end their seven-game road stretch with a doubleheader against Baylor in Waco, Texas. The first game of the twin bill is slated to begin at 5 p.m. and the second set for 7 p.m.
Both games will be available on broadcast with Brian Brinkley pulling the one-man-show. The first game can be heard live on Yahoo while the second game will be available on KOKC (1520 AM).