OKLAHOMA CITY - A pair of WAC softball stars have been recognized by USA Softball, as Seattle U's Madison Cathcart and NM State's Kelsey Horton have earned a spot on the Preseason Player of the Year Watch List.
The WAC was one of seven conferences to have multiple players honored, joining the ACC and Big South as having two players recognized. The SEC led all conferences with 13 honorees. A total of 14 conferences and 35 schools were represented.
Cathcart posted a monster 2018, winning the WAC slash rate triple crown with a line of .444/.596/.954 in 56 games. The first baseman became the first SU player to be chosen NFCA All-Region. She was All-WAC First Team and WAC All-Tournament. Cathcart set eight single-season school records, including 19 home runs, 20 doubles, and 53 walks. She ranked in the top 10 nationally in six statistical categories. This month, Cathcart has earned numerous preseason accolades. She is a Preseason All-American according to Fast Pitch News and Justin's World of Softball. The junior was also Preseason All-WAC.
Horton comes into her senior season after setting the NM State program record for home runs (25) and total bases (154) for a single season. Individually, she ranked in the top-25 in several statistical categories for 2018 and even led the country in home runs and home runs per game (0.49) heading into the NCAA tournament. The senior closed out the season second in homers and home runs per game (0.47), third in the NCAA for RBI per game (1.21) and total bases, seventh in slugging percentage (0.911) and 22nd in runs per game (0.98). Horton was also named the WAC Player of the Year for a second-straight season and also took home the conference tournament's Most Valuable Player accolade during her junior season.
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.
Seattle U and NM State contributed to this article