Natasha Watley Named Honda-Broderick Cup Finalist

June 18, 2003

NEW YORK CITY - The five finalists for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year award were announced today, and the list included UCLA softball player Natasha Watley. The Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year balloting involves all NCAA-member institutions, with nominees selected from among 12 women chosen as the Honda Award winner as the most outstanding in their sports during the school year.

The winner will be announced on June 23, when she will receive the 27th annual Honda-Broderick Cup. This is the top award given by the Collegiate Women Sports Awards. American Honda Motor Co., Inc. sponsors the Awards program.

The finaists are Watley, lacrosse star Rachael Becker of Princeton University; swimmer Natalie Coughlin of California; basketball standout Diana Taurasi of the University of Connecticut and volleyball's Logan Tom of Stanford University.

Watley, a senior shortstop from Irvine, CA, hit .440 at the Women's College World Series as UCLA won the NCAA Championship. Watley had the game-tying RBI and scored the game-winning run in UCLA's second semifinal victory over Texas en route to UCLA's NCAA title. For the season, she hit .481 with 10 home runs, scored 64 runs and stole 35 bases. It was her third season of 100-plus hits, giving her 395 for her career, third best all-time.

Becker, a senior who resides in Broomall, PA, and plays defense, held Final Four opponents' top scorers to a combined one goal and led Princeton to the NCAA lacrosse title. Coughlin, a junior and a resident of Concord, CA, won the NCAA title for the third straight time in the 100 and 200 yard backstroke, and the 100 yard butterfly. She holds the U.S. and NCAA records in all three events. Taurasi, a junior guard who lives in Chino, CA, led UConn to its second straight national basketball title and a 37-1 record. She scored 28 points in the championship game, a 73-68 victory over Tennessee. Tom, a senior who resides in Salt Lake City, UT, led Stanford to a 32-5 record and the NCAA volleyball finals. An outside hitter, she had 518 kills during the season for a 4.89 per game average along with a .317 hitting percentage and 348 digs (3.28 per game).

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