Charters Named Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Candidate

March 9, 2009

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Washington senior All-American Ashley Charters was one of 30 elite Division I softball student-athletes named as a candidate for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, the company announced on Friday.

Athletes were selected for excelling not only on the playing field but also in the classroom and in the community. 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 those leaders to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact.

Charters is a two-time All-American on the field and a Sociology major also minoring in Education, Learning and Society. She aspires to be a teacher and will head to grad school in the next year to earn her teach certificate. She has volunteered more than 150 hours at schools around the Seattle Area, including Northgate Elementary School, Meany Middle School and Arrowhead Elementary School.

The Beaverton, Ore., native overcame a torn labrum in her hip last year which required surgery and forced her to redshirt the 2008 season. She has bounced back this year to lead the team in nearly every offensive category and is a National Player of the Year candidate. The two-time All-American, two-time All Pacific Region and three-time All-Pac-10 selection will look to lead the Huskies back to the Women's College World Series, where she was named to the All-Tournament team in 2007. Charters is closing in on several UW career records, including stolen bases, needing just three more to tie the record.

A national media committee will select 10 finalists from the 30 candidates at the end of March. Those 10 names will then be placed on the official ballot for a nationwide vote beginning March 30 and concluding May 7. Fan balloting will be coupled with votes from coaches and media to determine the recipient of the award. Winners will be announced during the 2009 NCAA Division I Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla., scheduled for May 28-June 3.

Lowe's, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, expanded the award program in 2007 to include six additional NCAA Division I sports - men's and women's soccer, men's ice hockey, men's lacrosse, baseball, and softball. With the addition of football this past fall, the number of sports encompassed by the nation's premier award for seniors increased to nine.

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: Classroom, Character, Community, and Competition.

Twenty-nine NCAA colleges and universities are represented among the 30 candidates for the 2009 award, with the University of Alabama being the lone school with two selections.

'These 30 young women represent the tremendous opportunities offered by collegiate athletics,' said Bob Gfeller, Lowe's senior vice president of marketing and advertising. 'We at Lowe's are pleased to highlight student-athletes of this caliber and help lead the way in building our nation's future leaders.'

This marks the third year for the softball division of the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. Angela Tincher, pitcher for Virginia Tech University, captured the award in 2008 and University of Arizona outfielder Caitlin Lowe was the inaugural winner in 2007.

Sportscaster Dick Enberg, Honorary Chairman of the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, first conceived the idea of an award for seniors in 2001 in response to the growing trend of men's basketball players leaving school early for the NBA. The award was launched to honor senior student-athletes who remained in college, exhausting their collegiate athletic eligibility, to pursue their college degree.

Below is a list of the 30 candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award:

Name, Position, School
Val Chapple, University of Kansas
Ashley Charters, University of Washington
Kristi Cunningham, University of Louisville
Lissa Fehlman, University of Evansville
Mollie Fowler, Western Carolina University
Kalyn Fox, Eastern Kentucky University
Whitney Haller, Georgia Tech University
Lillian Hammond, University of Tennessee
Staci Hemingway, University of Utah
Ashley Holcombe, University of Alabama
Lisa Kingsmore, Winthrop University
Danielle Kinley, Pennsylvania State University
Karen Korb, Valparaiso University
Jenae Leles, University of Arizona
Jessica Mapes, Arizona State University
Colleen McGlaughlin, University of Iowa
Michelle Moses, Brown University
Stacey Nelson, University of Florida
Amber Patton, DePaul University
Ashton Payne, University of South Carolina
Missy Penna, Stanford University
Brittany Puzey, University of Nevada
Samantha Ricketts, University of Oklahoma
Brittany Rogers, University of Alabama
Megan Shupp, Texas Tech University
Amber Smith, Illinois State University
Laurie Wagner, University of Houston
Jessica Wakasugi, Creighton University
Hayley Wiemer, Bowling Green State University
Tammy Williams, Northwestern University

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