OKLAHOMA CITY – Looking towards another successful season, Texas Tech senior All-American Jessica Hartwell was one of 50 student-athletes named to the 2019 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List, announced by USA Softball on Wednesday.
The USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, which enters its 18th season, recognizes outstanding athletic achievement by Division I female collegiate softball players across the country. The watch list includes 24 seniors, 16 juniors and 10 sophomores. Freshman can be considered for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award once they have competed at the collegiate level.
Hartwell joins Emily Bledsoe (2009-12) as the second Red Raider in program history to make the preseason watch list. The senior is one of seven student-athletes from the Big 12 represented on the prestigious list.
After an impressive sophomore season, Harwell returned to the field with even more ferocity for her junior campaign. The NFCA All-Region and All-Big 12 first teamer became the third NFCA All-American in program history, reigning in third-team laurels.
She smashed the school's single-season record with 20 home runs, 63 runs scored and a monster .897 slugging percentage. Writing her name in the record books even further, Hartwell became the third Red Raider to ever hit .400 in a season. She finished the season tied for eighth nationally in home runs and ranked in the Top 10 in total bases, slugging percentage and runs scored.
Hartwell's 66 hits on the season tied for seventh in the school record book and she set a program single-game record with three home runs against Baylor on Apr. 7. She posted four multi-home runs games in 2018 and was the first Red Raider to earn a national player of the week award.
The Galt, Calif., native ranked second in the Big 12 in home runs, runs scored, stolen bases, total bases and slugging percentage, and ranked fourth in on-base percentage and triples.
The Top 25 Finalists for the 2019 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award will be announced April 24. 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 8 and the Top 3 announced May 22. The 2019 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be revealed May 28.
Texas Tech is set to open up the 2019 season on Friday, Feb. 8, at the Lone Star Collegiate Classic in Conroe, Texas. For all the latest news on the Texas Tech softball team, follow @TexasTechSB on Twitter and Instagram or visit TexasTech.com.