Berzon, Briggs, Pleasants Named to USA Softball Top 50 Watch List
Infielder Taylor Pleasants makes USA Softball's Top 50 Watch List for the third time, and outfielder Ciara Briggs makes the list for the second consecutive season. Pitcher Sydney Berzon makes her first appearance on the list.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Sophomore pitcher Sydney Berzon and graduates Ciara Briggs and Taylor Pleasants appear on the Top 50 Watch List for the 2024 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year.
The USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award aims to recognize outstanding athletic achievement across Division I female collegiate softball players nationwide. Represented on the Top 50 Watch List are 28 universities and six athletic conferences. The SEC leads the athletic conferences with 21 athletes.
Pleasants has made the USA Softball’s Top 50 Watch List for the third consecutive season, while Briggs makes her second straight appearance. Berzon is listed on the USA Softball’s Top 50 Watch List for the first time.
Berzon was named a 2023 NFCA All-American after posting a 14-8 record in the circle with a 1.91 ERA behind 127 strikeouts and held opposing batters to a .209 average. Berzon threw 11 complete games and had four shutouts in her collegiate debut. Berzon became the program’s first NFCA All-American freshman pitcher since 2015 (Carley Hoover). She was also a 2023 All-SEC Second Team honoree.
Briggs is the first back-to-back Gold Glove winner in softball history – collegiate or professional (2022, 2023)- and has no errors in 176 chances over the last two seasons. In 2023, Briggs had 83 putouts and four assists, and at the plate, she logged a .347 batting average, 68 hits, 24 RBI, 46 runs, two home runs (both grand slams) and 11 stolen bases.
Last season, Pleasants batted .346 and led the team with a .562 slugging percentage, thanks to 56 hits and eight home runs. She also boasted a team-high 53 RBIs. Defensively, she paced the team with 118 assists, had 61 putouts, and was part of turning 15 double plays. Pleasants earned a spot on the NFCA South All-Region First Team for the second consecutive year, became a three-time All-SEC selection, and was on the SEC All-Defensive Team in 2023.
Briggs will enter the 2024 season ranked No. 7 in the program’s record book with a career .356 batting average and .990 fielding percentage, and Pleasants opens the 2024 season ranked No. 5 in the LSU record book with 37 career home runs and a .597 career slugging percentage, No. 6 with 171 career RBIs, and No. 7 with 389 career assists.
The Top 25 Finalists for the 2024 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award will be announced on May 1. 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. The Top 10 Finalists will be revealed on May 15, and the Top 3 will be released on May 20. The 2024 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year will be announced before the NCAA Women’s College World Series.
LSU starts the season at 6 p.m. CT on Thursday, Feb. 8, against Nicholls at Tiger Park and will host the LSU Invitational Feb. 9-11, with Memphis and Pittsburgh participating in the tournament.
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