Jan. 30, 2014
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa junior Megan Blank appeared on the Top 50 Watch List for the 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year released Wednesday afternoon. It is the first Top 50 recognition of the shortstop's career.
The list is narrowed to the Top 25 on April 9, the Top 10 on May 7, and the Top 3 on May 21. Prior to the start of the 2014 NCAA Women's College World Series on May 27, the 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be announced. The award, given by the National Governing Body for softball in the United States, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country.
"I think it is pretty exciting," head coach Marla Looper said. "Megan has the potential to be one of the great players this year and has been in the last couple of years. She's phenomenal defensively and can get hot offensively. She can be one of the best in the Big Ten and one of the best in the nation. It's good for our program, and it's good for Megan.
"It means that they're recognizing Iowa softball, and that we're back on the map. We've opened some eyes."
Blank, a two-time first team All-Big Ten selection and two-time All-District honoree, is one of seven Big Ten student-athletes and one of 20 juniors to appear on the list. To see the full list of student-athletes in the Top 50, visit teamusa.org/usa-softball.
"It's definitely a great honor, but it's based on what I did last year," Blank said. "I'm trying to forget about what happened last year because it's a new year. I want to help the team this year by replicating my performance from last year or doing even better.
"Recognition like this is great because it gets Iowa out there."
Since arriving in Iowa City as a freshman in 2012, Blank has been making her mark in the Iowa softball program and in the record book. Her career batting average of .413 is the highest in program history, her .437 batting average in 2013 marks the program's highest average in a season, and she has started 107-of-107 games.
UI softball, who received votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Preseason Poll, kicks of its 2014 season at the Carolina Classic, Feb. 7-9. The Hawkeyes will face UNC Greensboro, Presbyterian, Ohio, and host South Carolina in the tournament.