Missy Penna Among 10 Finalists For Lowe's Senior CLASS Award

March 30, 2009

Stanford, Calif. - Stanford pitcher Missy Penna was listed in an impressive lineup of 10 senior student-athletes today, when the finalists were announced 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.

The 10 finalists have garnered tremendous achievements both on and off the field and were chosen from a list of 30 candidates based on personal qualities that define a complete student-athlete - classroom, community, character and competition.

Nationwide balloting begins immediately to determine the third annual winner, who will receive the award during the NCAA Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla.

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.

In addition to Penna, the 2009 finalists are: Whitney Haller, Georgia Tech University; Lillian Hammond, University of Tennessee; Jenae Leles, University of Arizona; Jessica Mapes, Arizona State University; Stacey Nelson, University of Florida; Amber Patton, DePaul University; Samantha Ricketts, University of Oklahoma; Brittany Rogers, University of Alabama and Tammy Williams, Northwestern University.

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 an All-American and three-time All-Pac-10 selection who boasts a 1.69 career ERA and 1,096 strikeouts. The eighth-winningest pitcher in Pac-10 history, she posted her 105th career win yesterday to tie the Stanford school record, and currently stands as one of the Pac-10's 10 all-time strikeout leaders. Having already smashed the school's shutout record (45) and tied the win record, she is just 58 K's away from adding one more record to her name. 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.

The names of the 10 finalists will be placed on the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award softball ballot for a nationwide vote beginning March 30 and concluding May 7. 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 award.

'These outstanding student-athletes deserve recognition for their all-around achievements in the classroom, in the community and on the softball field,' said Bob Gfeller, Lowe's senior vice president of marketing. 'The Lowe's Senior CLASS Award is dedicated to honoring individuals who are making an impact on others with their talents. Lowe's commends each of these finalists, along with their respective coaches and universities.'

The 2009 award winner will be announced and presented with the prestigious Lowe's Senior CLASS Award trophy at the Opening Ceremonies of the NCAA Women's College World Series on June 2 in Oklahoma City. The Lowe's All-Senior All-America Team, based on final results of the balloting, will also be recognized.

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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