Lastrapes Named Candidate For Lowe's Senior Class Award

April 10, 2007

KANSAS CITY, Mo.-- University of Washington senior Dominique Lastrapes is among a list of 20 candidates for the 2007 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in the all-new softball division. The award will be presented annually to an NCAA Division I senior softball player who excels both on and off the field.

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. 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 andcommunity are major areas of focus.

The list of 20 candidates for the 2007 softball award represents 20 different schools from all around the country. The lineup includes schools from 12 different conferences, led by three nominees from the Missouri Valley Conference and three from the Pacific-10.

For consideration, athletes had to demonstrate success in four areas: classroom, character, community and competition.

Lastrapes boasts a 3.2 grade point average in Sociology and will graduate in June. She is a Dean's List member and received Washington's top female athlete award for the quarter. A two-time Pac-10 All-Academic honoree, Lastrapes would like to pursue a career as a college softball coach.

Lastrapes has demonstrated her strong character as a team captain who has bought a positive attitude toward change. She has had three different head coaches during her collegiate career and has been instrumental to the team's acceptance of each change. She has also had to overcome numerous injuries, including playing with a bone chip in her elbow as a freshman, eventually undergoing surgery; playing with a re-injured elbow and injured shoulder as a sophomore, eventually undergoing surgery on both; suffering a concussion as a junior during a collision at second base and playing with bone spurs in her ankle, eventually undergoing surgery. Earlier this season, Lastrapes was struck in the face by a pitch and had to maintain a liquid diet for two weeks but never missed a game.

She has also been an active volunteer in the community serving as a WASAAC representative for four years where she has acted as a liaison between the student-athletes, the athletics department and upper campus. She has organized various student-athlete community service projects including sending care packages to troops in Iraq, putting on a haunted house for local children during Halloween and visiting sick children and Seattle's Children's Hospital.

Lastrapes, a two-time All-American, is a four-year starter at second base for Washington and has led the Huskies to College World Series appearance in 2003 and 2004 and back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Super Regional. She is a three-time All-Pacific Region and All-Pac-10 selection and has been named to the All-Regional team three times, including the Most Outstanding Player in 2004. Lastrapes ranks eighth on the UW all-time career list in on-base percentage (.426), is ninth in doubles (39) and 11th in hits (226) and walks (77).

A national media committee will select 10 finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award later in 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.

'We are pleased to add softball to the growing list of NCAA sports of the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award,' said Bob Gfeller, Lowe's Senior Vice President of Marketing and Advertising. 'College athletics is filled with some remarkable female student-athletes who excel in their sport, work hard towards their degree and make an impact in their local community. These 20 softball players are talented athletes and great citizens.'

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 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.

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