Folden Named to USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List


Junior Rachel Folden

Junior Rachel Folden

2007 Player of the Year Watch List

Jan. 23, 2007

OKLAHOMA CITY - After a record-breaking sophomore season that helped establish her as one of the best players in the country in 2006, junior catcher Rachel Folden (Baldwin Park, Calif./Diamond Bar) earned one of the highest preseason collegiate softball honors Tuesday. The Amateur Softball Association, the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States, tabbed Folden as one of its 50 players to watch for the 6th Annual USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award.

"This preseason honor speaks volumes not only for Rachel but for our program and Conference USA as a whole," Marshall head softball coach Shonda Stanton said. "This nomination reflects her hard work both on the field and in the classroom.

"I hope that Folden continues to garner the national recognition she and the rest of her teammates deserve this season."

Folden, the 2006 Conference USA Player of the Year, batted .386 with a school- and conference-record 18 home runs to go along with 56 RBI last season. For her efforts, she earned Second Team NFCA/Louisville Slugger All-America honors as a catcher and was the only C-USA All-American selection.

Like last season's All-America team, Folden is the only Conference USA representative on the Preseason Watch List.

The 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. Past winners of this award include UCLA's Stacey Nuveman, Florida State's Jessica Van der Linden and three-time winner, Texas pitcher Cat Osterman.

The 2007 Preseason Watch List is comprised of 50 players representing 33 schools and 11 different NCAA Division I Conferences. A complete list of the players with photos and links to their collegiate bios can be found in the College Corner on the USA Softball website, www.usasoftball.com.

The ASA will announce the 25 finalists on April 4. A player does not have to appear on the initial watch list to be considered as a Top 25 finalist, but once the Top 25 is named the remaining finalist must be selected from that list. The 2007 ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Pre-Season Poll will be announced on Tuesday, January 30.

2007 USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List

*Monica Abbott, Tennessee Candice Baker, Cal State Fullerton Callista Balko, Arizona Brandice Balschmiter, Massachusetts Lacey Bertucci, Louisiana-Lafayette Catherine Bishop, Louisville Katie Burkhart, Arizona State Courtney Bures, Mississippi State *Tonya Callahan, Tennessee *Eileen Canney, Northwestern *Gina Carbonatto, Pacific Kasi Carroll, Georgia *Ashley Charters, Washington *Kaitlin Cochran, Arizona State Maddy Coon, Stanford *Garland Cooper, Northwestern Ashley DeBuhr, Nebraska Melanie Denischuk, Maryland-Baltimore County *Norrelle Dickson, Oklahoma Samantha Findlay, Michigan *Erin Floros, San Diego State *Rachel Folden, Marshall *Kristie Fox, Arizona Whitney Haller, Georgia Tech Kassie Humphreys, Kansas *Leslie Klein, LSU *Chelsi Lake, Baylor *Dominique Lastrapes, Washington Jodie Legaspi, UCLA Mia Longfellow, Oregon State *Caitlin Lowe, Arizona Robin Mackin, Fresno State *Megan McAllister, Georgia *Brianne McGowan, Oregon State *Kellie Middleton, Georgia *Cambria Miranda, Oregon State Whitney Mollica, Massachusetts Taryne Mowatt, Arizona *Brette Reagan, Baylor Jackie Rinehart, Stanford *Brittany Rogers, Alabama *Lindsay Schutzler, Tennessee *Anjelica Selden, UCLA *Amber Smith, Illinois State Alex Sutton, California *Angela Tincher, Virginia Tech *Emily Turner, LSU Desiree Williams, Texas *Tammy Williams, Northwestern *Veronica Wootson, Florida State

*2006 NFCA All-Americans