Valparaiso senior Jordan Rutkowski (Alden, N.Y./Alden) has been selected as one of 25 finalists nationwide for the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year honor, as awarded by the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America.
Rutkowski is the first player in Crusader program history to be selected among the 25 finalists for the national Player of the Year award, and is the only Horizon League player on the list, which is dominated by players from major college programs. Just before the start of post-season play, a list of 10 finalists will be announced on May 9. The three finalists will be announced May 23, while the winner of the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award will be revealed on May 29 prior to the start of the NCAA WCWS in Oklahoma City.
Rutkowski earned the spot among the 25 finalists after a tremendous start to the 2012 campaign. The senior catcher, who entered this week having already set Valpo’s single-season RBIs record and matched the Crusaders’ single-season home runs record in just 32 games, leads the Horizon League in five different offensive categories and ranks among the top-25 in the nation in batting average (.475, 6th), RBIs/game (1.38, 7th), doubles/game (0.38, 6th), slugging percentage (.921, 7th) and home runs/game (0.34, 21st).