OKLAHOMA CITY-Boise State sophomore Devon Bridges was named to the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List, Wednesday, the Amateur Softball Association of America announced. Bridges is the first player in school history to earn the distinction.
Bridges is the only student-athlete from the Mountain West among the 50 players listed and one of just eight sophomores to make the cut. The Danville, Calif., native is the third player from current MW schools to be named to the watch list in the 11-year history of the award. San Diego State (Erin Floros, 2007) and UNLV (Marissa Nichols, 2006) are the other member schools with honorees.
It is the seventh time in conference history the MW has been represented on the prominent list with former-member BYU placing Oli Keohohou (2003 and 2004) and Jessica Purcell-Fitu (2010 and 2011) on the list twice each.
Bridges rewrote the Boise State record book in her debut season. She set school records in batting average (.393), RBI (53), walks (37), on-base percentage (.531) and slugging percentage (.785). She also led the team with 16 home runs and tied for the national lead with three grand slams on her way to being named All-WAC First Team and second-team All-Pacific Region.
This is Bridges' second preseason honor of 2012, after CollegeSportsMadness.com tabbed her preseason Mountain West Field Player of the Year.
The USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award is the most prestigious individual honor in NCAA Division I Softball. The 25 finalists for the 2012 award will be announced April 11. The list will be whittled down to 10 (May 9) and three (May 23), before the player of the year is announced May 29, prior to the start of the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.
Boise State begins its fourth season of softball Feb. 10, against Loyola Marymount at the Aggie Stampede in Davis, Calif.