Nebraska senior Tatum Edwards was one of 50 players nationally named to the 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player-of-the-Year watch list, the Amateur Softball Association of America and USA Softball announced on Wednesday.
Edwards was one of five Big Ten players named to the watch list. She is the first Husker to earn a spot on the list since her twin sister Taylor was named to the 2012 watch list, one season after being one of 25 finalists for the award. The 25 finalists for the 2014 award will be announced on April 9. The list will then be trimmed to 10 finalists on May 7, with three finalists being announced on May 21. On May 27 prior to the start of the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, the 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be announced.
Tatum Edwards finished with a 30-10 record and a 1.91 ERA in the circle in 2013, when she was named a second-team All-American and the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year. Edwards ranked 11th nationally in shutouts last season and was 12th in victories. She was only the fourth pitcher in school history to win 30 games in a season, and Edwards enters the 2014 season as Nebraska’s first returning All-America pitcher since Leigh Ann Walker in 2001. In her career, Edwards owns a 46-15 record, ranking fourth in school history with a .754 winning percentage. This spring, Edwards will look to become just the second two-time All-America pitcher in school history.
In addition to her pitching prowess, Edwards is also one of the top hitters in school history. She owns a .291 career batting average with 28 doubles, 32 home runs and 106 RBIs entering this spring. Her 32 home runs rank fifth in school history, while she enters her senior season in sixth place on Nebraska’s all-time chart with a .564 slugging percentage.
A native of Murrieta, Calif., Edwards slugged 11 home runs in 2013, when she joined an elite group of 11 known players in NCAA history to win 30 games in the circle and hit 10 home runs at the plate in the same season. The only player besides Edwards to accomplish that feat in 2013 was Oklahoma’s Keilani Ricketts, the 2012 and 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. Edwards also added 11 doubles last spring, becoming the seventh Husker to post double-digit double and home run totals in the same season.
Edwards and No. 9 Nebraska open their 2014 season on Friday, Feb. 7, at 10:30 a.m. (Central) against UTEP in Las Cruces, N.M. One of 13 returning All-America pitchers in 2014, Edwards is likely to make her pitching debut against 12th-ranked Florida State in Friday’s second game, slated for 3 p.m. In that matchup, Edwards is expected to face FSU ace Lacey Waldrop, a fellow 2013 All-American and one of the 50 players named to the 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player-of-the-Year watch list.