Martin a finalist for Lowe's Senior CLASS Award



Missouri State senior softball player Katie Martin has been named as one of ten finalists for the 2007 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in recognition of her accomplishments both on and off the field. The Bears’ centerfielder leads the team in nearly every statistical category this season. 

Lowe’s Senior CLASS (an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School) Award recognizes college senior athletes who remain committed to their university and pursue the many rewards that a senior season can bring. While the on-the-field performance during their collegiate softball careers is a factor in determining candidates and the eventual winner, their personal character and off-the-field achievements in the classroom and community are major areas of focus.

An outfielder from Baldwin City, Kan., Martin leads the Bears with a .333 batting average, 42 hits, 28 runs, nine doubles and 21 RBIs. She is also second in the Missouri Valley Conference with 14 steals. Last year, she was a second team All-MVC pick for the Bears, who won a school-record 40 games.

Martin was nominated for the honor based on her performance on the diamond as well as her personal character and achievements in the classroom and community. She is the softball representative on Missouri State’s Student-Athlete Adviory Council (SAAC) and has been active in MSU softball’s fundraising and community service efforts throughout her four years at Missouri State. She participated in MSU Softball’s effort to provide support to those Springfield area families in need during the holiday season, by purchasing Christmas gifts with money donated by MSU athletes. She volunteered for Habitat for Humanity in service effort to build and restore homes with the help of the partner families, which are then sold to the partner families at no profit and financed with affordable, no-interest loans. The softball Bears were also involved with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in the fall of 2005.

Martin is majoring in Clinical Laboratory Sciences and Medical Technology and carries a 3.93 GPA. She is expected to graduate in May 2008. She has been on the Missouri State Dean’s List every semester she has been at Missouri State. She has been named to the Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete First Team (2006), the CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine All-District First Team (2006) and the Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete Second Team (2005)

The award, which recognizes the Outstanding Senior Student Athlete in six NCAA sports, is in its first year for softball. The other finalists are Stephanie Brown of Notre Dame, Garland Cooper of Northwestern, Lindsey Gerheim of Army, Kristina Hull of Georgia Tech, Dominique Lastrapes of Washington, Caitlin Lowe of Arizona, Jamie Reiss of Creighton, Lindsay Schutzler of Tennessee, and Kate Sheaks of DePaul.

The ten finalists will be placed on the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award ballot for a nationwide vote beginning April 26 and concluding May 23.  Fan balloting, available on the award’s official website, will be combined with votes from coaches, media and sponsors to determine the recipient of the 2007 award.  The award winner will be announced and presented with her trophy during the opening ceremonies of the 2007 NCAA Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, OK.  The Lowe’s All-Senior All-America Team will also be recognized. 

The finalists were selected from a list of 20 semifinalists announced earlier this month.

“These ten softball players have shown a tremendous track record in all aspects of student life on the playing field, in the classroom and in their local communities,” said Bob Gfeller, Lowe’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Advertising.  “They are very deserving finalists for the first ever Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for the sport of softball.  We congratulate them on reaching this level and we look forward to announcing the winner at the NCAA Women’s College World Series in May.”

The initial concept of this special award for seniors was conceived by CBS sportscaster Dick Enberg and was launched 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.

Martin will play the final home games of her career this weekend, as the softball Bears will take on Drake. A doubleheader Saturday will begin at 12:00 noon at the Missouri State Softball Field.



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