In its 13th year, the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, given by the National Governing Body for softball in the United States, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country. Previous recipients of the award include former Bruin Stacey Nuveman, the winner of the inaugural accolade in 2002.
The pre-season Watch List includes 24 seniors, 20 juniors and six sophomores. Freshmen can be considered for the award once they have competed at the collegiate level. The Top 25 finalists for the award will be announced on April 9. 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 on May 7 and the Top 3 finalists will be announced on May 21. On May 27, prior to the start of the 2014 NCAA Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be revealed.
Carda was named First Team NFCA All-Region and All-Pac-12 in 2013 after posting a .339 batting average, 18 home runs and 50 runs batted in at the plate and a 23-10 record, a 2.30 earned run average and 217 strikeouts in 206 2/3 innings in the circle. She was first on the team in wins, ERA and strikeouts, second in homers, third in RBI and fourth in average and was also second in walks (31), slugging (.695) and on base percentage (.447), tied for second in hit by pitches (5), third in total bases (123) and tied for first in sacrifice flies (2).
LaRosa was named NFCA All-Region Second Team and All-Pac-12 First Team a year ago after recording a .370 batting average and 52 runs batted in, which were both second on the squad, and 15 home runs, which was third. She was also first with 74 hits and four triples, second with 52 runs scored, 138 total bases and 11 doubles and third with a .690 slugging and a .445 on base percentage. LaRosa started all 60 games at shortstop and tied for 47th nationally in both home runs and triples.
The 13th-ranked Bruins open the 2014 season next week in Honolulu at the Oceanic Time Warner Cable Paradise Classic. UCLA faces Delaware on Thursday, Feb. 6 and Hampton and Hawai'i on Friday, Feb. 7 before tournament bracket play starts on Saturday, Feb. 8. All UCLA games will have audio broadcasts live on UCLABruins.com.