Ashley Thomas and Jennifer Gilbert are getting noticed by Team USA Softball.
The former McKinney High standouts are excelling for their college programs and have been named to USA Softball’s Top 50 Watch List, which eventually pares down its finalist to top 25, 10, 3 and finally the Collegiate Softball Player of the Year.
Thomas, a senior shortstop who plays for Georgia Tech, is the defending Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year. According to her Tech athletic department bio, here are here junior-year accomplishments:
ACC Player of the Year … NFCA All-Region second team … First Team All-ACC … Led ACC and team in batting average, hits, runs and stolen bases, moved into the top five in stolen bases on both the Georgia Tech single season and career charts … went on a 26-game hitting streak and reaching base safely streak … batting average in conference play never fell below .460 … leadoff batter in all but two games and started all 55 games at shortstop … Stole two bases in a game nine times.
Gilbert, a senior pitcher and outfielder who plays for Ball State, was named All-American and is two-time Mid America Conference Player of the Year. According to her Ball State athletic department bio, here are some of her junior year highlights:
Earned third letter at Ball State … helped guide the Cardinals to their fourth Mid-American Conference regular season title in program history with a 37-17 (18-3 MAC) record … became the first All-American in program history when she was named to the 2013 NFCA All-America Third Team … NFCA All-Great Lakes Region First Team … All-MAC First Team … CollegeSportsMadness.com MAC Field Player of the Year and MAC All-Conference First Team … CollegeSportsMadness.com National Field Player of the Week (April 15), four-time MAC West Division Player of the Week (Feb. 19, Feb. 26, April 1 and April 15) … three-time CollegeSportsMadness.com MAC Softball Player of the Week (Feb. 18, April 1 and April 15) … started all 54 games in left field … ranked 11th national with a Mid-American Conference single season record .451 batting average, which is the second-best effort in program history … drove in a MAC and Ball State single season record 70 RBI, to become the league’s all-time career RBI leader (at 185) as just a junior … ranked third nationally with a 1.30 RBI-per-game average … posted a BSU single season record 23 home runs, which is the second-best total in league history … ranked fifth nationally with a 0.43 home runs-per-game average, while her 23 home runs ranked sixth … ranked first in the league and 16th nationally with her school-record .534 on base percentage … ranked 19th nationally with a 1.04 runs-per-game average, with her 56 runs scored leading the league … her school-record .936 slugging percentage ranked fifth nationally … first on the team with 22 multiple hit games and 20 multiple RBI games.