Texas catcher Taylor Ellsworth (center) chats with teammates during a game against Indiana on Feb. 17, 2017. Ellsworth is on the watch list for the 2018 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

BEVO BEAT Softball

Texas catcher Taylor Ellsworth enters sophomore season on USA Softball’s watch list

Posted February 1st, 2018

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When Texas opens its softball season next week, all eyes will be on sophomore catcher Taylor Ellsworth.

On Wednesday, Ellsworth was one of 50 players placed on the watch list for the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year award. Ex-UT pitcher Cat Osterman earned that honor in 2003, 2005 and 2006.

Last year, Ellsworth enrolled at UT during what should have been the second semester of her senior year at Georgetown High. She made an immediate impact and led Texas with her .394 batting average. In addition to becoming the Longhorns’ starting catcher and an all-conference honoree, Ellsworth contributed three home runs and 24 RBIs.

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Ellsworth is joined on USA Softball’s watch list by Oklahoma State utility player Vanessa Shippy, Baylor outfielder Kyla Walker and five players from Oklahoma. Texas State star pitcher Randi Rupp and Texas A&M’s Tori Vidales also made the cut. In total, 23 seniors, 18 juniors and nine sophomores were placed on the preseason watch list.

The 25 finalists for the 2018 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award will be revealed on April 25. That list will subsequently be chopped down to ten finalists on May 9 and three finalists on May 23. The winner will be crowed on May 29.

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