Spartanburg, S.C. – USC Upstate All-American softball player Shellie Robinson has been named to USA Softball’s Top 50 “Watch List” for the 2015 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year honors entering the 2015 season.
USA Softball selects 50 players to watch entering the season and follows the progress of all college softball players throughout the year. The list will be whittled down to 25 semi-finalists on April 8 and the Top 10 finalists will be announced on May 6. The 2015 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be revealed on May 26.
The pre-season “Watch List” includes 26 seniors, 18 juniors and six sophomores, with freshman ineligible for consideration. Athletes named to the “Watch List” represent 32 NCAA Division I universities and 13 athletic conferences. Arizona leads the way among universities with four athlete representatives, while Georgia, Michigan, Oklahoma and Oregon have three athletes on the “Watch List” apiece. Eight athletes on the Top 50 “Watch List” will also compete as a member of the 2015 USA Softball Women’s National Team this summer. Robinson is one of seven players from mid-major institutions to make the list.
“Shellie is a special player who has led us offensively throughout her career at Upstate,” said Upstate head coach Chris Hawkins. “She is as complete a player as we have ever had in our program and deserves every bit of recognition she receives. The sky is the limit for her and I look forward to watching what she achieves in her final season with us this year.”
Robinson is coming off a tremendous season in 2014. She helped lead Upstate to a 46-9 overall record, 22-2 mark in the A-Sun, the A-Sun regular season championship and second consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament. She finished the season leading the team and with a .410 batting average en route to earning third team NFCA All-America honors. She topped the Spartans in nearly every major statistical category, finishing with a team-high 73 hits, 18 home runs, 15 doubles, 48 RBIs, 55 runs and a .809 slugging percentage. She also topped the club with 26 walks.
Robinson led an Upstate team that reached new heights in an already accomplished program. The 46-9 record broke the old program record for wins on the Division I level by four games and coming to within one of the all-time record of 47 by the 2007 squad (final year of Division II). The Spartans broke the program’s season record for home runs, belting 60 with Robinson accounting for one-third of that total. The squad also broke it’s A-Sun wins record, finishing the season with a 22-2 mark en route to winning the regular season championship and earning the program’s first-ever No. 1 seed in the A-Sun Tournament. The Spartans went on to become the first A-Sun school (along with Lipscomb) to earn an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament, playing in their second straight tournament in the Tuscaloosa Regional at national No. 2 seed and national runner-up Alabama Crimson Tide.
Robinson was named the 2014 A-Sun Player of the Year and earned her third straight first team all-conference selection. She also earned her third consecutive all-region honor, taking home her second first team selection in the Southeast Region. Robinson finished the season leading the A-Sun in runs, doubles, slugging percentage and total bases. She was second in batting average, on-base percentage and home runs, third in hits and fourth in RBIs.
Robinson was also been ranked among the nation’s leaders in several statistical categories throughout the season and finished 16th in the nation in home runs while ranking in the Top 50 in home runs per game, runs per game and slugging percentage.
Robinson broke several Division I era school records last season, moving to the top of the lists for RBIs and runs, and sits atop the batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage lists. She broke the program’s all-time home runs record as well after blasting a solo homer off of Alabama All-American Jaclyn Traina in the NCAA Tournament to move into sole possession of the record with 47.
Robinson, who has the distinction of being the first All-American in the Upstate athletic department since moving to Division I in 2007-08, was also named to the “Watch List” in 2013 after a stellar freshman campaign in 2012 when she was named the A-Sun Freshman of the Year and a first team all-conference selection.