OVERLAND PARK, Kan.– Senior pitcher and designated player Rachel Riley has been selected as one of 30 candidates for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS award the committee announced Wednesday. Riley, a Bowling Green, Ky., native is among four candidates selected from the Southeastern Conference.
Student-athletes who excel both on and off the field were selected as candidates today for the 2012 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.
Riley has been one of the cornerstones in helping transform the Kentucky softball program into a national contender. She owns more post-season victories than any other pitcher in school history and last season batted a career-best .354 with eight home runs. She ranks among UK’s all-time bests in nearly every pitching category and leads the Wildcats’ this season with a .375 clip and a pair of RBI. She has already been honored as a preseason All-SEC selection as voted on by the league’s coaches and she is a member of the top-50 players to watch for USA Softball’s Player of the Year award.
A tremendous student, Riley owns a 3.868 grade point average in Biology and has already earned acceptance into UK’s Dental School for post-graduate work following the 2012 season. She’s a mainstay in the community having given time to such causes as Circle of Love, Salvation Army, SEC “Together We Can,” local churches, and several softball camps. She has been voted a team captain in each of her final two seasons.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Lowe’s, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, will announce the Senior CLASS Award winner during the 2012 NCAA Women’s College World Series, which will be held May 31-June 6 in Oklahoma City, Okla.
The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, Division I head coaches and fans who will select one finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.
Follow along with the UK softball program all season long at UKathletics.com.
2012 Softball Candidates
Valerie Arioto, Pitcher/First Base, California
Gracie Barstad, Third Base, Western Michigan
Emily Bledsoe, Infield, Texas Tech
Katelyn Boyd, Shortstop, Arizona State
Rachel Brown, Pitcher, Harvard
Ashley Burnham, Shortstop, James Madison
Molly Coldren, Infield, Central Michigan
Kacee Cox, Catcher/First Base, St. John’s (N.Y.)
Mallory Duran-Sellers, Outfield, Southern Illinois
Bree Evans, Outfield, Michigan
Julie Fernandez, First Base, Lehigh
Michelle Fuzzard, Pitcher/DP, Chattanooga
Chelsea Garcia, Shortstop, Oklahoma State
Molly Garst, Infield, Purdue
Ashley Guile, Infield, Nebraska
Ashley Hagemann, Pitcher, Nebraska
Ashley Hansen, Shortstop, Stanford
Shayla Jackson, Outfield, Florida State
Natalie Land, Shortstop, Central Florida
Brittany Mack, Pitcher, LSU
Ashley McClain, Outfield/Pitcher, Florida International
Jen Mineau, Pitcher, Fordham
Adrienne Monka, First Base, Northwestern
Michelle Moultrie, Centerfield, Florida
Christi Orgeron, Utility, Louisiana
Cassie Reilly-Boccia, Outfield/First Base, Alabama
Stephanie Ricketts, Pitcher, Hawaii
Rachel Riley, Pitcher/DP, Kentucky
Liz Watkins, Catcher, Iowa
Niki Williams, Utility, Washington