Lawrie One of Three Finalists for Player of Year
May 20, 2009
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Washington junior pitcher Danielle Lawrie is one of three finalists for the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award, the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA) announced today, joining Florida's Stacey Nelson and Arizona State's Kaitlin Cochran in the chase for college softball's most prestigious award.
Lawrie's legend continues to grow after last weekend's heroic performance in the deciding game of the NCAA Regionals. After throwing 144 pitches in a seven-inning loss Sunday to UMass which forced a deciding second game between the teams, Lawrie gutted out a 15-inning game that night in which she threw 251 pitches and struck out a school-record 24 batters. The Huskies plated five runs in the 15th off UMass' three-time All-American Brandice Balschmiter and Lawrie fittingly ended the game with her 24th strikeout to send UW into the Super Regionals.
It's been a dream season for the Langley, British Columbia, native, who came back from sitting out the 2008 season to play in the Beijing Olympics to have the best season by a pitcher in Husky history. She has broken UW's career strikeout record as well as single-season records for shutouts, complete games and innings pitched this season and is one win shy of the single-season records for victories (36) and three shy of breaking her own single-season strikeout record. The junior is 35-7 with a 0.86 ERA and 18 shutouts to go along with 454 strikeouts.
With her 24-strikeout performance last weekend, Lawrie is also just two shy of the 1,300 mark for her career. She ranks fifth in Pac-10 history and 15th in NCAA history in career strikeouts with at least two more games remaining this season and her entire senior year.
Lawrie has thrown two no-hitters this season which came against national powerhouses No. 6 Arizona and No. 2 UCLA, the former of the two having just broken the NCAA single-season home run record with 131. No pitcher before Lawrie had ever no-hitter both teams in their career, let alone in a single season. She has also shutout No. 1 Florida, No. 4 Alabama, No. 5 Stanford, No. 7 Michigan, No. 8 Georgia and No. 11 Ohio State this season, all teams the Huskies could potentially face in the Women's College World Series.
Lawrie is the only non-senior among the three finalists. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, May 26, at the NCAA Women's College World Series Party at the Park at ASA Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City, Okla. The hunt for the Player of the Year started with a Top 50 Watch list - which included both Lawrie and Husky senior Ashley Charters - and has been narrowed down to the three superstars who have each led their teams into the Super Regionals.
The Huskies are currently in Atlanta, Ga., preparing for this weekend's Super Regional showdown with No. 14 Georgia Tech. Each game of the best-of-three series will air live on ESPN and ESPN360.com as well as on Seattle's KKNW-1150 AM. Saturday's first game takes place at Noon ET followed by the second game on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. If a third game is needed, it will take place Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET.