March 31, 2009
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Tennessee senior outfielder Lillian Hammond has been selected as one of 10 Division I finalists for the 2009 Lowe's Senior CLASS Softball Award. The trophy will be presented to a D-I softball individual that excels on as well as off the field of play.
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. This year fans can vote via text message through May 7th. To vote for Tennessee's Lillian Hammond send the text code SB2 to 839863.
A native of Chattanooga, Tenn., and a two-time First-Team ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American who aims to become a forensic anthropologist or a FBI criminal profiler following her playing career, Hammond is currently hitting .385 (42-of-109) with five doubles, 20 stolen bases in 21 attempts and a .437 on-base percentage through UT's first 34 contests. Hammond rates ninth in the Lady Vol career record books in batting average at .369 and fifth in career stolen bases with 65, 11th in on-base percentage (.418) and ninth in runs scored (130). Hammond was chosen earlier this year in the second round, with the ninth overall selection, of the National Pro Fastpitch Draft by the Philadelphia Force.
Lowe's presented the inaugural softball award at the conclusion of the 2007 season with Arizona's Caitlin Lowe receiving the honor, while Virginia Tech's Angela Tincher took home the 2008 trophy. Candidates for the 2009 honor were selected based on personal qualities that define a complete student athlete through extensive nominations submitted by their sports information contacts. While the on-the-field performance during their collegiate softball careers is a factor in determining candidates and the eventual winner, personal character and off-the-field achievements in the classroom and community are major areas of focus. CLASS is an acronym representing "Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School." The award, presented to NCAA Division I student-athletes each year, focuses on the "Four C's" of classroom, character, community and competition.
The ballots containing the 10 finalists will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans. The award winner will be announced and recognized at the 2009 NCAA ® Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.
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, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, expanded the award program in 2007 to include six additional NCAA Division I sports - men's and women's soccer, men's ice hockey, men's lacrosse, baseball, and softball. It was conceived by sportscaster Dick Enberg, who continues to serve as Honorary Chairman. The Senior CLASS honor 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.
2009 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Softball Finalists
|Whitney Haller||First Base||Georgia Tech University||SB1|
|Lillian Hammond||Outfield||University of Tennessee||SB2|
|Jenae Leles||Third Base||University of Arizona||SB3|
|Jessica Mapes||Outfield||Arizona State University||SB4|
|Stacey Nelson||Pitcher||University of Florida||SB5|
|Amber Patton||Third Base||DePaul University||SB6|
|Missy Penna||Pitcher||Stanford University||SB7|
|Samantha Ricketts||First Base||University of Oklahoma||SB8|
|Brittany Rogers||Outfield||University of Alabama||SB9|
|Tammy Williams||Shortstop||Northwestern University||SB10|
* To vote via text message: "Text Code" to 839863