April 5, 2007
KANSAS CITY, Mo.- Notre Dame senior softball player Stephanie Brown (Chandler, Ariz./Corona del Sol) has been chosen as one of 20 softball student-athletes for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, it was announced Thursday, April 5, by Lowe’s. Lowe’s recently announced the addition of softball and three other NCAA sports (baseball, men’s hockey and men’s lacrosse) to the award program that was originally launched in 2001 with basketball.
The word “CLASS” is 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 school early to pursue professional careers. Veteran sportscaster Dick Enberg, who still serves as the Honorary Chairman, conceived the award.
Candidates are selected based on qualities that define a complete student-athlete. While the on-the-field performances during the student-athletes collegiate softball careers are a factor in choosing candidates and the eventual winner, the personal character and off-the-field achievements in the classroom and community are also a major areas of focus.
The 20 softball candidates each represent 20 different schools. The group includes schools from 12 different conferences, led by three nominations from the Missouri Valley Conference and three from the Pac-10 Conference. Both Brown and Kate Sheaks of DePaul represent the BIG EAST Conference.
A national media committee will select the 10 finalists in April. Those 10 names will then be placed on the official ballot for national voting beginning on April 26 and ending May 21. Fan balloting will be combined with the votes from coaches, media and sponsors to determine the award recipient. The winner is announced during the week of May 28 at the 2007 NCAA Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Notre Dame’s softball team (19-12, 8-0 BIG EAST), after having a three games rescheduled this week due to weather issues, will next take the field on Tuesday, April 10 hosting Eastern Michigan (10-15) at Ivy Field in a doubleheader starting at 4 p.m.
Further information about the award and the candidates can be found at www.seniorclassaward.com.
2007 Softball Candidates
Mary Kathryn Branan-Georgia State
Stephanie Brown-Notre Dame
Mary Jane Callahan-Mississippi
Kristina Hull-Georgia Tech
Katie Martin-Missouri State
Sharonda McDonald-Texas A&M
Ta’Tyana McElroy-Oregon State
Jackie Roberts-Utah Valley State
Jessica Rodgers-Texas-San Antonio
Cassidy Scroggins-Southern Illinois
Shelby Stiner-Middle Tennessee State
Panita Thanatharn-Long Beach State