University of Kentucky junior pitcher Kelsey Nunley was among 50 players named Wednesday to the watch list for the 2015 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award.
Nunley, who was named the most valuable player by the 2014 team after her historic season in the circle, is on the watch list for the first time. She is only the second player in school history to make the list, joining UK All-American Molly Johnson-Belcher, who is currently a UK assistant coach.
Nunley had the best season in program history in 2014, going 30-11 with a 1.88 ERA in 2821⁄3 innings. The native of Soddy Daisy, Tenn., earned victories in all 10 postseason wins for Kentucky, including striking out seven batters in the Women's College World Series against Louisiana-Lafayette.
The right-hander tossed two no-hitters in 2014.
The preseason watch list includes 26 seniors, 18 juniors and six sophomores, with freshmen ineligible for consideration to the watch list.
The top 25 finalists for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award will be announced April 8. The top 10 will be announced May 6 and the top three May 20. The award winner will be revealed May 26.
Nunley was one of 13 Southeastern Conference players named to the list of 50, joining infielders Alex Hugo and Paige Wilson and pitcher Chelsea Wilkinson of Georgia, catcher Annie Aldrete of Tennessee, infielder Bianka Bell of LSU, outfielder Branndi Melero and infielder Kasey Cooper of Auburn, outfielder Emily Crane and pitcher Tori Finucane of Missouri, outfielder Haylie McCleney of Alabama, and infielder Kelsey Stewart and pitcher Lauren Haegar of Florida.