Missy Penna Named Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Candidate

March 9, 2009

Stanford, Calif. - Senior pitcher Missy Penna was among 30 collegiate softball players chosen as candidates for the 2009 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. Each year, the award is presented to student-athletes who excel not only on the playing field but also in the classroom and in their 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.

Penna is a civil engineering major with a concentration in structures and construction and boasts a 3.49 GPA. She was a 2008 ESPN Academic All-District First Team selection, a two-time NFCA Scholar-Athlete and a two-time Pac-10 All-Academic selection. In 2008, she was one of only three players in the conference to earn a spot on the all-academic first team and the all-conference first team.

On the field, Penna is a 2008 All-American and three-time All-Pac-10 selection who boasts a 1.74 career ERA and 1,023 strikeouts. Two weeks ago, she became the 11th player in Pac-10 history to post 1,000 strikeouts. With 99 career wins, Penna is on track to break nearly every pitching record in the Stanford books. Having already smashed the school's shutout record (41), she is six wins and 131 K's away from two more records. Last season, she made 49 starts, threw 40 complete games, finished second in the Pac-10 and sixth nationally in wins (37) and posted a school-record 416 K's. She was named one of ESPN's 2009 Preseason All-Americans and to USA Softball's Top-50 Player of the Year Watch List earlier this year.

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. The list of 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. The ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans. The award winner will be announced and recognized at the 2009 Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.

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

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