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WICHITA, Kan. – USA Softball unveiled its list of the 50 best collegiate players of the year Wednesday morning, and it’s no surprise to see the two Wichita State All-Americans make the list again.
Addison Barnard and Sydney McKinney make Wichita State one of 14 multiple selection schools. McKinney is on the prestigious watch list for the second consecutive season after becoming a Top 10 finalist a season ago.
Barnard just came off a sophomore campaign that saw her rank first nationally in home runs per game and RBI per game; second in home runs and slugging percentage; and third in RBI and total bases. The Beatrice, Neb. native set an NCAA single-season record with her .63 home runs per game. She scored 33 in just 52 games. Barnard finished his career-high season hitting .391 with 33 home runs, 84 RBI and 1,018 hits.
McKinney became a two-time All-American following her record-breaking 2022 season. She led the nation in hits (97) and batting average (.522), while also hitting 13 home runs and driving in 38 runs. McKinney already owns multiple single season and career records at Wichita State. She enters her senior season with just 25 hits to become the first Shocker ever with 300 career hits.
The Top 50 Watch List highlights athletes from 26 colleges and nine athletic conferences from across the country with Oklahoma leading colleges in recognition while eight Sooners join the list followed by Arkansas, Florida and UCLA with three athletes each. In addition, ten universities have two athletes on the list while 12 collegiate programs are highlighted with one. Among the 50 athletes and returning to the spotlight for the prestigious award are 2022 Top 3 finalist Baylee Klingler (Washington) and 2022 Top 10 finalists Jordy Bahl (Oklahoma), Grace Lyons (Oklahoma), Kelly Maxwell (Oklahoma State ), Sydney McKinney (Wichita State), and Danielle Williams (Northwestern). The Southeastern Conference (SEC) leads the athletic conferences with 18 athletes included, followed by the Big 12 Conference with 11, Pac-12 Conference with seven, and the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) with six. The American Athletic Conference (AAC) is also represented with three athletes and the Big Ten Conference with two, while the Mid-American Conference, Mountain West Conference, and Sun Belt Conference each feature one athlete each.
USA Softball will narrow the list to 25 on April 19, before naming 10 finalists on May 3 and the final three on May 17.
About USA SoftballUSA Softball (USAS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the Olympic Committee and United States Paralympic. One of the largest sports organizations in the nation, USAS sanctions competition through a network of local associations, which includes all 50 states and select metropolitan associations. USAS is committed to providing people of all ages with the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament, and competitive games for fast pace, slow pace, and modified pace. USAS conducts thousands of tournaments across the country each year, including over 100 national championships. The USAS umpire program is among the largest in the nation and is widely known as the best trained umpires in the game.
As the NGB for the sport of softball, USAS is responsible for training, equipping, and promoting the six U.S. national softball teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships, and other international events and national. For more information about USAS, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), visit www.USASoftball.com.