April 5, 2007
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Tennessee senior center fielder/shortstop Lindsay Schutzler has been selected as one of 20 Division I candidates for the new 2007 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.
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 through nominations submitted by their sports information offices. 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 rundown of 20 candidates for the 2007 Senior CLASS award represents 20 different schools from around the country. The lineup includes 12 separate conferences with three nominees from the Missouri Valley Conference and the Pacific-10. The Southeastern Conference boasts two selections in Schutzler and Mississippi's Mary Jane Callahan.
A national media committee will select 10 finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in late 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.
A two-time Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-American, Schutzler has continued her stellar play into her senior campaign wearing the Orange & White. The Monterey, Calif., native currently reigns as the SEC Player of the Week, for the third time in her career, after becoming one of only 10 players in NCAA Division softball history to join the prestigious "3-2-1 Club," with 300 hits, 200 runs scored and 100 steals during her playing career. She now leads the Lady Vols all-time charts in hits (328), runs scored (218), stolen bases (106), triples (19) and total bases (443) while also rating in the top 10 in the career annals in batting average (.386 - fourth), on-base percentage (.447 -- third), slugging percentage (.522 - eighth), RBIs (140 - seventh) and games played (267 - sixth). Schutzler currently sits third in the league statistics in batting average (.423) and RBI (37), second in hits with 55, second in triples with four, fourth in on-base percentage at .483 and sixth in runs scored with 33.
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.
No. 1 Tennessee takes to the road in conference play this weekend for a vital three-game series in Athens, Ga., against the Georgia Bulldogs. All three contests will be shown on television as CSS will broadcast the Saturday doubleheader via tape delay following the Georgia spring football game, with Sunday's contest scheduled for 2 p.m. ET live on Fox Sports Net (FSN) as part of the SEC-TV package. Live stats will be available through utladyvols.com, and periodic updates will be provided to the Lady Vol Hotline at 865-974-8700 (box #6).
|2007 Lowe's Senior CLASS Candidates|
|Mary Kathryn Branan||Georgia State||2B||5'6||Colonial Athletic Association|
|Stephanie Brown||Notre Dame||OF||5'6||Big East Conference|
|Mary Jane Callahan||Mississippi||P/OF||5'9||Southeastern Conference|
|Garland Cooper||Northwestern||1B||5'10||Big Ten Conference|
|Lindsey Gerheim||Army||IF||5'8||Patriot League|
|Kristina Hull||Georgia Tech||C/UTL||5'11||Atlantic Coast Conference|
|Dominique Lastrapes||Washington||2B||5'3||Pacific-10 Conference|
|Caitlin Lowe||Arizona||OF||5'5||Pacific-10 Conference|
|Katie Martin||Missouri State||OF||5'5||Missouri Valley Conference|
|Sharonda McDonald||Texas A&M||OF||5'5||Big 12 Conference|
|Ta'Tyana McElroy||Oregon State||P||5'11||Pacific-10 Conference|
|Jamie Reiss||Creighton||IF||5'4||Missouri Valley Conference|
|Jackie Roberts||Utah Valley State||P/UTL||5'5||Independent|
|Jessica Rogers||Texas - San Antonio||IF||5'6||Southland Conference|
|Lindsay Schutzler||Tennessee||OF||5'5||Southeastern Conference|
|Cassidy Scoggins||Southern Illinois||P/OF||5'7||Missouri Valley Conference|
|Kate Sheaks||DePaul||OF||5'4||Big East Conference|
|Shelby Stiner||Middle Tennessee St||SS||5'6||Sun Belt Conference|
|Debbie Szalejko||Ohio||OF||5'4||Mid-American Conference|
|Panita Thanatharn||Long Beach State||OF/IF||5'2||Big West Conference|