Feb. 1, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern senior Adrienne Monka (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) and junior Emily Allard (Antioch, Calif./Deer Valley) have been named to the 50-member watch list for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, announced today by the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America.
This year marks the sixth time in the last seven years that Northwestern has placed multiple student-athletes on the watch list for this award. Past NU honorees are:
2010: Adrienne Monka, Lauren Delaney
2009: Tammy Williams, Lauren Delaney
2008: Nicole Pauly, Tammy Williams
2007: Eileen Canney, Garland Cooper, Tammy Williams
2006: Courtnay Foster, Garland Cooper
Not only have a bevy of Northwestern student-athletes made the watch list at the start of the year, many have moved on to finalist status. That list looks this this:
2011: Emily Allard (top-25 finalist -- not included on initial watch list)
2009: Tammy Williams (top-10 finalist)
2008: Tammy Williams (top-10 finalist)
2007: Tammy Williams, Garland Cooper (top-25 finalists)
Monka is a two-time NFCA All-America first team selection who led the nation with a .707 on-base percentage last season to unofficially rank second in NCAA Division I single-season history. Her .461 batting average and .865 slugging percentage led to respect at the rate of 1.53 walks per game, also good for first in the country and second in NCAA DI history. Monka reached base in 25-straight plate appearances from April 16 to May 4 in 2011, earning a Sports Illustrated
Face in the Crowd inclusion in the May 30, 2011, issue.
The former Big Ten Freshman of the Year was a USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List member in 2010 after hitting 19 home runs with a .900 slugging percentage in 2009. Monka is a career .375 batter with 41 home runs, 142 RBIs, a .798 slugging percentage and a .570 on-base percentage. Defensively, while starting every game at first base in the last two seasons, Monka has not committed an error since May 8, 2009 -- a string of 94 games and 600 chances.
Allard was a top-25 finalist for USA Softball Player of the Year honors last season during a campaign in which she broke the Northwestern school record with a .491 batting average. Allard ranked second in the nation in steals per game (1.05), fourth in batting average (.491) and 16th in runs per game (1.07) during 2011. She stole 45 bases in 46 attempts to earn the NFCA Golden Shoes Award as the nation's top base stealer, as well.
Allard had 23 multi-hit games in 2011 including 12 with three or more hits and four with four or more hits. She also had a 22-game hitting streak and went hitless in just five of NU's 43 games. A first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2011 and two-time NFCA All-Region choice, Allard has a career .429 batting average after two collegiate seasons.
The Top 25 finalists for the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award will be announced April 11. 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 9 and the Top 3 finalists will be announced May 23. On May 29 prior to the start of the 2012 NCAA Women's College World Series (WCWS) in Oklahoma City, the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be revealed.
Northwestern opens the 2012 season February 10-12 at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz.
For the complete 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award watch list, link to: USASoftball.com.
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