LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD NCAA SOFTBALL CANDIDATES

April 06, 2007

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(Kansas City, MO) - TWENTY SENIORS WHO EXCEL ON AND OFF THE FIELD ANNOUNCED AS CANDIDATES FOR 2007 LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD FOR SOFTBALL


Twenty of the top student athletes in NCAA softball were announced today as candidates for the 2007 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in the all-new softball division. The award will be presented annually to an NCAA Division I senior softball player who excels both on and off the field.
Lowe’s recently announced the addition of softball and three other NCAA sports to the award program that was originally launched in 2001 with basketball.
Candidates were selected based on personal qualities that define a complete student athlete.  While
the on-the-field performance during their collegiate softball careers is a factor in determining candidates and
the eventual winner, their personal character and off-the-field achievements in the classroom and
community are major areas of focus.
The list of 20 candidates for the 2007 softball award represents 20 different schools from all around the country.  The lineup includes schools from 12 different conferences, led by three nominees from the Missouri Valley Conference and three from the Pacific-10. 
A national media committee will select 10 finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award later in April.  Those ten names will then be placed on the official ballot for a nationwide vote beginning April 26 and concluding May 21.  Fan balloting will be coupled with votes from coaches, media and sponsors to determine the recipient of the award.  Winners will be announced during the week of May 28 during the 2007 NCAA Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
“We are pleased to add softball to the growing list of NCAA sports of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award,” said Bob Gfeller, Lowe’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Advertising. “College athletics is filled with some remarkable female student athletes who excel in their sport, work hard towards their degree and make an impact in their local community. These 20 softball players are talented athletes and great citizens.”

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the award was launched during the 2001-02 season in response to the trend of college basketball players leaving college early to turn professional.  Lowe’s has extended the award in 2007 to include four other NCAA sports:  baseball, softball, men’s hockey and men’s lacrosse.  Those winners will be decided in separate balloting. 
The award was conceived by sportscaster Dick Enberg, who continues to serve as Honorary Chairman.  It was inspired by the remarkable story of former Duke star Shane Battier, who could have been an NBA lottery pick but returned to college for his senior season, led the Blue Devils to the national championship in 2001 and earned his college degree.