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UF Softball: Lindaman, Echols Appear on USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Top 50 “Watch List”

Courtesy of University Athletic Association

BY HERB BROOKS

Kendyl Lindaman and Charla Echols each earned a spot on the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Top 50 “Watch List” as announced by USA Softball Wednesday afternoon.

For Lindaman, this makes it her fourth appearance on the watch list, while Echols makes her second.

Lindaman, a three-time NFCA All-American, produced the second highest average at the plate for the Gators and currently ranks inside the top 5 amongst NCAA active career leaders in RBI (207 – 1st), home runs (62 – 2nd), walks (176 – 2nd), games played (212 – 3rd), and total bases (440 – 5th).

Echols made an immediate impact in her first season wearing the Orange & Blue during the shortened 2020 season. The Newnan, Ga. native led the team in batting average (.417), hits (35), home runs (8), RBI (28), and slugging percentage (.762).

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Lauren Haeger & Kelly Barnhill are the only Gators to have won the prestigious award. Haeger earned the title in 2015 after leading Florida to the program’s second national championship, and Barnhill secured the honor after have a historic season in 2017.

Nineteen student-athletes join the preseason “Watch List” for their fifth year following the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) decision to grant 2020 spring athletes an extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19.

Also included in the “Watch List” are 11 seniors, 15 juniors, and five sophomores, with freshman ineligible for consideration. (Freshman can be considered for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award once they have competed at the collegiate level). Athletes named to the “Watch List” represent 28 NCAA Division I universities and 13 athletic conferences.

The Pac-12 conference is represented by six member-schools followed by five college programs from the Southeastern Conference (SEC), and three schools apiece from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and Big 12 conference.

Full USA Softball Top 50 “Watch List”

The Top 25 Finalists for the 2021 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award will be announced April 21. While an athlete does not have to be on the “Watch List” to be considered for the Top 25, the eventual USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will come from the Top 25 Finalists. The Top 10 Finalists will be announced May 5 and the Top 3 announced May 19. The 2021 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be revealed June 1.

2021 Season

The team will take the field for the first time of the 2021 season on Saturday, Feb. 13-14, with a three-game series at USF. The two squads will compete in a doubleheader at 1 p.m. Saturday and single game at 1 p.m. Sunday to close out the series. SEC play is scheduled to open up on March 12 at home inside Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium against Kentucky with the SEC tournament set for May 12-15 at Rhoads Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

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