FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A program-record three Razorbacks were named to USA Softball’s Top 50 Watch List for its 2023 Collegiate Player of the Year Award, USA Softball announced Wednesday. Chenise Delce, Kristina Foreman and Hannah Gammill were all voted to the list for the first time in their careers.
“What an exciting recognition for Chenise, Tina and Hannah. They have made a name for themselves nationally with their elite level of play,” said head coach Courtney Deifel. “They are highly talented players who continue to elevate their own play as well as the players around them. We are thrilled they represent Arkansas, and we are excited to watch them compete this year.”
Currently in its 21st season, the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award recognizes outstanding athletic achievement by Division I female collegiate softball players from across the country.
Arkansas is one of four programs to land three or more players on the 2023 watch list, joining Oklahoma, Florida and UCLA. Former Hogs Danielle Gibson and Mary Haff were tabbed to the watch list in 2022. Gibson was the only SEC player last season to be selected as a Top 10 Finalist for the award.
Delce became the second consecutive Hog to be named SEC Pitcher of the Year after taking home the honor in 2022. An NFCA Second Team All-American, Delce appeared in 37 games with 24 starts, going 19-3 and notching 11 wins and two saves against ranked opponents (ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25). The Oklahoma City product paced Arkansas with a 2.12 ERA, 188 strikeouts, 14 complete games and five shutouts. Her 8.70 strikeouts per 7.0/IP sits second in single-season program history. During league play, Delce posted the second-lowest ERA (1.87) and opponent batting average (.207).
A graduate transfer from Duke, Foreman was a staple in the Blue Devil lineup throughout her four years in Durham. In 2022, Foreman started all 48 games she played in, almost exclusively at second base. An All-ACC Second Team selection, Foreman hit .398 with 15 home runs and a single-season program record 56 RBIs. The Tampa native had one of the best games of her career in Duke’s 2022 NCAA Regional clinching win over Georgia, where she went 2-for-2 with five RBIs, two doubles and a walk, good for the most RBIs by any Blue Devil in an NCAA Championship game.
Gammill is coming off a sensational 2022 campaign where she became the youngest Razorback to garner NFCA First Team All-American distinction. The Beebe, Ark., product started all 59 games at third and slashed .374/.781/.513 while slugging the fourth-most home runs in single-season program history with 18. Gammill posted 15 multi-hit games and 16 games with multiple RBIs, including seven outings with three-plus RBIs. Gammill compiled a .964 fielding percentage on 140 total chances.
The SEC leads all conferences with 18 athletes included followed by the Big 12 Conference with 11, Pac-12 Conference with seven and Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) with six. Also represented is the American Athletic Conference (AAC) with three athletes and the Big Ten Conference with two while the Mid-American Conference, Mountain West Conference and Sun Belt Conference each showcase one athlete apiece.
Top 25 Finalists will be revealed April 19. 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. Top 10 Finalists will be announced May 3 and the Top 3 Finalists will be unveiled May 17. The 2023 USA Collegiate Player of the Year will be named prior to the Women’s College World Series.
Arkansas opens its 2023 season Feb. 10 at the Rebel Kickoff in Las Vegas. The Hogs will face Weber State at 4 p.m. CT before taking on tournament host UNLV at 9 p.m.