OU senior pitcher Lauren Eckermann was named one of 10 finalists for the Softball Division of the 2008 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. Nationwide balloting begins immediately to determine this year’s winner, which will receive the award during the NCAA Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla.
The finalists were chosen from a list of 30 candidates based on personal qualities that define a complete student-athlete. These four primary areas of criteria include: classroom, community, character and competition.
Eckermann, who was the 2007 Co-Big 12 Pitcher of the year in 2007, has recorded a 10-3 record for the Sooners this season and has been even better in Big 12 play this season where she owns a 2-0 record and a 0.54 ERA.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award has developed into the nation’s premier tribute to college seniors. The award, which launched in 2001 with college basketball, is now in its second year for softball. Arizona outfielder Caitlin Lowe won the inaugural softball division award in 2007.
The 2008 finalists are: Callista Balko, University of Arizona, Beth Boden, Tennessee Tech University, Sara Dyer, University of Tulsa, Lauren Eckermann, University of Oklahoma, Rachel Folden, Marshall University, Jordan Praytor, University of Alabama, Megan Rhodes, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Anjelica Selden, UCLA, Angelia Tincher, Virginia Tech and Sandy Vojik, DePaul University.
These 10 names will be placed on the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award softball ballot for a nationwide vote beginning April 10 and concluding May 9. Fan balloting, available on the award’s official website www.seniorclassaward.com, will be combined with votes from coaches, media and sponsors to determine the recipient of the award.
“These young women are outstanding student-athletes who deserve recognition for their all-around achievements in the classroom, in the community and on the field,” said Bob Gfeller, Lowe’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Advertising. “The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award is dedicated to honoring senior collegians that are making an impact on others with their talents. This is an impressive group of individuals and we commend each of them, along with their respective coaches and universities.”
The 2008 award winner will be announced and presented with the prestigious Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award trophy at the Opening Ceremonies of the NCAA Women’s College World Series on May 27 in Oklahoma City. The Lowe’s All-Senior All-America Team, based on final results of the balloting, will also be recognized. The idea of an award to salute collegiate seniors was conceived by sportscaster Dick Enberg, who continues to serve as Honorary Chairman. It was inspired by the trend of college basketball players leaving college early to turn professional.
The Senior CLASS Award was formed to honor senior student-athletes who fulfill their entire collegiate athletic eligibility, earn a college degree and give back to their community.