Fico on USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List

Matt Dunaway
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Rachele Fico continued LSU softball's longstanding legacy and was one of 50 finalists chosen to the "Watch List" for the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award.

The award, considered the Heisman Trophy of women's collegiate softball, is in its 12th season and designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by all softball players from across the country.

It marks the third straight season that Fico has been in contention for this prestigious award. After being named to the "Watch List" to start 2011, Fico was one of 25 finalists for the honor last season. She is among the illustrious company of former All-Americans Britni Sneed, Leslie Klein, Kristin Schmidt and Kirsten Shortridge as the only LSU players to be named as USA Softball Top 25 finalists.

Sneed and Schmidt were one of 10 finalists for the 2002 and 2003 awards, respectively. In 2006 and 2007, Klein was one of 25 finalists for the honor followed by Shortridge during the 2010 campaign.

Fico has racked up 54 career victories sparked by a pair of 20-win seasons in 2010 and 2012. The senior right-hander posted an impressive 1.12 ERA, fourth-best in the nation. She also collected the nation's fifth-most shutouts with 13.

Fico's postseason was just as impressive as the Connecticut native claimed four victories and was touched up for only two earned runs over 28 innings of work en route to NCAA College Station Regional and NCAA Columbia Super Regional MVP honors.

The ASA and USA Softball will narrow the list down to its Top 25 finalists on April 10. 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.

A week before NCAA Regionals are slated to begin, a list of 10 finalists will be named and released on May 8. The Top three finalists will be announced two weeks later on May 22. Leading into the 2013 Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be revealed at the WCWS banquet on May 28.

LSU, ranked No. 10 in the preseason NFCA Top 25 poll, is one week away from 2013 opening weekend where the Tigers will play host to Hampton, No. 22 North Carolina, Purdue and Tulsa as part of the Tiger Classic from February 8-10.