Feb. 2, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Senior right-handed pitcher Sarah Hamilton has been named to the Amateur Softball Association Top 50 preseason watch list for the 2011 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award.
The award, which is considered the most prestigious honor in Division I women’s collegiate softball, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country.
The former Chiles High standout from Tallahassee earns a spot on the governing body of softball’s preseason list for the second consecutive season. Last year, Hamilton was one of 25 finalists as she finished her junior campaign with a 22-10 record, 1.50 ERA, three saves and 326 strikeouts in 214.1 innings pitched. Hamilton averaged over 10 strikeouts per game started in 2010, and recorded over four times as many strikeouts as walks for the Seminoles.
The 2011 preseason watch list is comprised of 50 players representing 36 schools and 15 different NCAA Division I Conferences. Hamilton is aiming to become the second FSU softball student-athlete to earn USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year, as Seminole great Jessica van der Linden took home the honor in 2004.
Hamilton is just 224 strikeouts shy of becoming FSU’s career leader. She is also just three saves away from the top career spot on the school’s list.
Georgia Tech’s Hope Rush, a sophomore pitcher, joins Hamilton as the two representatives of the Atlantic Coast Conference on the preseason watch list.
FSU enters the 2011 season with a No. 23 ranking in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Poll. The Seminoles begin next Friday, Feb. 11, with a doubleheader beginning at noon against UNC Greensboro followed by St. John’s at JoAnne Graf Field. FSU plays throughout the weekend as it hosts the annual Seminole Kickoff Classic.
The ASA will announce the 25 finalists on April 13. A player does not have to appear on the initial watch list to be considered as a top 25 finalist. However, once the top 25 finalists are named the winner of the award will come from that list. Freshmen qualify for the top 25 list once they have competed at the collegiate level.