Jan. 24, 2007
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. –
With a pair of All-America awards to her credit, any discussion of the top softball players in the country has to incorporate Florida State’s Veronica Wootson. Strengthening this notion is her inclusion on watch list for the 6th Annual USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award, which is handed out by the Amateur Softball Association.
Wootson (Fontana, Calif.) was one of only two second baseman named to the list and one of three players from the Atlantic Coast Conference (Virginia Tech’s Angela Tincher and Whitney Haller from Georgia Tech).
“Being named to the list is an honor and it definitely gives me some extra motivation for the year,” Wootson said. “As a senior I know that people are looking to me to step up and perform not only my coaches and teammates but a lot of people outside Florida State. One thing I learned from (2004 Player of the Year) Jessica (van der Linden) was that it seemed like she was never stressed and she always came with her “A” game every time out and that’s what I’m going to try to do this year.”
The senior second baseman had her best year in a Seminole uniform in 2006 as she hit a career-best .360 while ranking second in the country with nine triples to go along with 49 RBIs and 44 runs scored as she earned NFCA First-Team All-America honors. In addition, she earned an Easton/Bell Sports All-America award, NFCA First-Team All-Southeast Region and First-Team All-ACC honors.
Wootson’s final season has the potential to be a special one as she is on the cusp of breaking several Florida State records. She needs just 12 triples and eight home runs to take down both marks and she is on pace to be in the top five in virtually every offensive category. Wootson is already eighth in ACC history with 18 triples.
“Last year was very important to me because I saw where my strengths are as well as my weaknesses,” Wootson admitted. “I’m trying to use last year as a guide so I can focus my training on improving my weaknesses and becoming a better player.”
As a freshman Wootson burst onto the softball scene during the Seminoles’ 2004 run to their seventh Women’s College World Series. She became the first FSU player to earn All-America accolades as a freshman with her NFCA Third-Team selection and she also captured ACC Freshman of the Year honors. A third All-America award would allow Wootson to join FSU Hall of Famer Shamalene Wilson as the only two players to earn three national awards during their career.
“This is a great recognition for Veronica and well deserved,” FSU head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf said. “She had a great season last year and picked up where she left off in the fall so she has the potential to have a tremendous senior season. She’s got a lot of talent and when she puts her mind to it she can accomplish just about anything she wants.”
Wootson will get to start her Player of the Year campaign on February 9 when she and the Seminoles open the year with the Seminole Classic against Samford at 4 p.m.