WICHITA, Kan. – USA Softball unveiled its Top 50 Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List Wednesday morning, and it comes as no surprise to see Wichita State’s two returning All-Americans on the list.
Addison Barnard and Sydney McKinney make Wichita State one of 14 schools with multiple selections. McKinney is on the prestigious watch list for the second straight season after becoming a Top 10 finalist a season ago.
Barnard is fresh off a sophomore campaign that saw her rank first nationally in home runs per game and RBI per game; second in home runs and slugging percentage; and third in RBI and total bases. The Beatrice, Neb., native set an NCAA single season record with her 0.63 home runs per game. She hit 33 in only 52 games. Barnard finished her record-breaking season hitting .391 with 33 home runs, 84 RBI and slugging 1.018.
McKinney became a two-time All-American after her own record-breaking 2022 season. She led the nation in hits (97) and batting average (.522), while also hitting a career-high 13 home runs and driving in 38 runs. McKinney already owns multiple single season and career records at Wichita State. She enters her senior season needing only 25 hits to become the first Shocker ever with 300 career hits.
The Top 50 Watch List highlights athletes from 26 universities and nine athletic conferences from across the country with Oklahoma leading the universities in recognition as eight Sooners join the list followed by Arkansas, Florida and UCLA with three athletes apiece. Additionally, ten universities tabbed two athletes to the list while 12 collegiate programs are highlighted with one. Among the 50 athletes and returning to the spotlight of the prestigious award is 2022 Top 3 Finalist Baylee Klingler (Washington) as well as 2022 Top 10 Finalists Jordy Bahl (Oklahoma), Grace Lyons (Oklahoma), Kelly Maxwell (Oklahoma State), Sydney McKinney (Wichita State) and Danielle Williams (Northwestern).
The Southeastern Conference (SEC) leads the athletic conferences with 18 athletes included followed by the Big 12 Conference with 11, Pac-12 Conference with seven and Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) with six. Also represented is the American Athletic Conference (AAC) with three athletes and the Big Ten Conference with two while the Mid-American Conference, Mountain West Conference and Sun Belt Conference each showcase one athlete apiece.
USA Softball will trim the list to 25 on April 19, before naming 10 finalists on May 3 and the final three on May 17.
About USA Softball
USA Softball (USAS) is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USAS sanctions competition through a network of Local Associations, which includes all 50 states and select metro associations. USAS is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch. USAS annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships. The USAS umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best trained umpires in the game.
As the NGB for the sport of softball, USAS is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USAS, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit, www.USASoftball.com.