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Feb. 1, 2006

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – University of Virginia fourth-year third baseman Sara Larquier (Burbank, Calif./John Burroughs) is one of 50 players named to the initial Preseason Watch List for the 2006 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award, as announced Wednesday (Feb. 1) by the Amateur Softball Association, the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States. This 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 the award include UCLA’s Stacey Nuveman, Florida State’s Jessica Van der Linden and two-time winner Texas pitcher Cat Osterman.

Larquier, who is one of three ACC players selected to the list, was a 2004 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Third Team All-American. She was named the 2005 ACC Player of the Year and is a three-time All-ACC selection. The two-time Virginia Sports Information Directors’ Player of the Year hit .348 (73-210) with a school record 34 extra-base hits in 63 games in 2005. She led all ACC players with a school-record tying 19 doubles, seven triples, 54 RBI, and 130 total bases. She was also second in the conference with a .619 slugging percentage and 73 hits. Larquier, who started all 63 games, was second on the team with eight home runs and also led UVa with 21 multiple-hit and 14 multiple-RBI contests. In just three years, Larquier is tied for third among all ACC players with 51 career doubles, is fifth in RBI with 154 and stands seventh in home runs with 27. Her 27 homers are two shy of the Virginia school record. She also needs just four RBI and seven doubles to tie the school marks in those categories.

The 2006 Pre-Season Watch List is comprised of 50 players representing 28 schools and 10 different NCAA Division I Conferences. USA Softball will announce its 25 finalists on April 5. 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.

A list of 10 finalists will be named and released on May 10. The three finalists will be announced May 31. The winner of the 2006 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award will be announced during the NCAA Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City. 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.

The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of amateur softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. As the National Governing Body, the ASA is responsible for identifying, selecting and training male and female athletes to compete in World, Pan American and Olympic competitions.

2006 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List:(listed in alphabetical order)Monica Abbott, Salinas, Calif., Tennessee, Jr., PitcherCaitlin Benyi, Scottsdale, Ariz., UCLA, Sr., Second BaseTina Boutelle, Katy, Texas, Texas, Sr., OutfieldCourtney Bures, Haymarket, Va., Mississippi State, So., InfieldKatie Burkhart, San Luis Obispo, Calif., Arizona State, So., PitcherKasi Carroll, Norris City, Ill., Georgia, Jr., Pitcher/OutfieldLauren Castle, Lafayette, La., LSU, Sr., OutfieldAutumn Champion, Tustin, Calif., Arizona, Sr., OutfieldChristina Clark, Santa Ana, Calif., Fresno State, Sr., InfieldGarland Cooper, Mission Viejo, Calif., Northwestern, Jr., First BaseHolly Currie, Pisgah, Ala., Auburn, Jr., Pitcher/First BaseJennifer Curtier, Lancaster, Calif., Pacific, Sr., First BaseMegan Denny, Crowley, Texas, Texas, So., PitcherNorrelle Dickson, Orange, Calif., Oklahoma, Jr., Third Base/SSAndrea Duran, Selma, CA, UCLA, Sr., Third BaseKristi Durant, Placentia, CA, Tennessee, Sr., 3rd/CatcherSarah Fekete, Maryville, Tenn., Tennessee, Sr., OutfieldSamantha Findlay, Lockport, Ill, Michigan, So., First BaseCourtnay Foster, Tucson, Ariz., Northwestern, Sr., PitcherKristie Fox, San Diego, Calif., Arizona, Jr., ShortstopMegan Gibson, Spring, Texas, Texas A&M, So., Pitcher/First BaseDanyele Gomez, Metairie, La., Louisiana Lafayette, Sr., OutfieldTiffany Haas, North Tustin, Calif., Michigan, Sr., Second BaseAlicia Hollowell, Suisun, Calif., Arizona, Sr., PitcherVanessa Iapala, San Diego, Calif., Oregon State, Sr., First Base /CatcherAmber Jackson, Fontana, Calif., Bethune-Cookman, Sr., ShortstopChelsi Lake, Keller, Texas, Baylor, Jr., InfieldLauren Lappin, Anaheim, Calif., Stanford, Sr., Shortstop/CatcherSara Larquier, Burbank, Calif., Virginia, Sr., Third BaseDominique Lastrapes, Mission Viejo, Calif., Washington, Jr., Second BaseDanielle Lawrie, Langley, British Columbia, Washington, Fr., PitcherJodie Legaspi, Garden Grove, Calif., UCLA, Jr., ShortstopCaitlin Lowe, Tustin, Calif., Arizona, Jr., ShortstopBrianne McGowan, Reno, Nev., Oregon State, Jr., Pitcher/First BaseMicaela Minner, Sanger, Texas, Missouri, So., OutfieldCatalina Morris, Sonoita, Ariz., Stanford, Sr., OutfieldMarissa Nichols, Diamond Bar, Calif., UNLV, So., OutfieldCat Osterman, Houston, Texas, Texas, Sr., PitcherJackie Rinehart, Reno, Nev, Stanford, Jr., OutfieldJennie Ritter, Dexter, Mich., Michigan, Sr., PitcherAmanda Scarborough, Magnolia, Texas, Texas A&M, So., PitcherLindsay Schutzler, Monterey, Calif., Tennessee, Jr., InfieldHarmony Schwethelm, San Antonio, Texas, Baylor, Sr., Infield/OutfieldChristine Sheridan, Pasadena, Md., Georgia Tech, Sr., ShortstopAnjelica Selden, Vacaville, Calif., UCLA, So., PitcherKristina Thorson, Lake Forest Park, Wash., California, Sr., PitcherAngela Tincher, Eagle Rock, Va., Virginia Tech, So., PitcherStephanie VanBrakle, Chambersburg, Pa., Alabama, Sr., PitcherKristin Vesley, Phoenix, Ariz., Oklahoma, Sr.. CenterfieldEmily Zaplatosch, Scottsdale, Ariz., UCLA, Sr., First Base /Catcher
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