Garcia Named Top 4 Finalist for Honda Sport Award for Softball
Senior Rachel Garcia, the 2019 winner of the Honda Cup and two-time Honda Award winner for softball, has been named a finalist for the third time, as announced by the Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) on Friday.
Garcia is looking to become the second Bruin to be named a three-time winner of the Honda Sport Award for softball (four-time winner Lisa Fernandez, 1990-1993). Garcia and Fernandez are two of seven UCLA softball players to win the Honda Award for softball (Natasha Watley, 2003; Jennifer Brundage, 1995; Janice Parks, 1989; Lisa Longaker, 1988; Debbie Doom, 1984). Garcia became the third Bruin softball player to win the Honda Cup as the 2019 Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year (Watley, 2003; Fernandez, 1993).
The Honda Sport Award has been presented annually by the CWSA for the past 45 years to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports and signifies "the best of the best in collegiate athletics." The winner of the sport award becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2021 Honda Cup, which will be presented on a telecast on CBS Sports Network on June 28. The softball finalists were chosen by a panel of coaches representing the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA).
Joining Garcia as finalists are Alabama's Montana Fouts, Arizona's Dejah Mulipola and Iowa State's Sami Williams.
Garcia, an NFCA First Team All-American, the Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year and a Top 3 finalist for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, got her Women's College World Series off to a great start on Thursday, as she struck out 11 in a five-hit shutout of Florida State. She is 18-1 with a 0.89 earned run average (second in the nation) and 173 strikeouts in 125 1/3 innings. The senior has appeared in 27 games, making 16 starts, posting 12 complete games and seven solo shutouts. At the plate, Garcia has a team-best .483 on base percentage and is second with 30 walks, adding a .345 batting average, 12 home runs, 32 runs batted in and 22 runs scored. A three-time Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week and two-time Pac-12 Player of the Week, Garcia has allowed zero or one earned run in 25 of her 27 appearances, reaching double figures in strikeouts seven times. She pitched the second no-hitter of her career on April 16 at Oregon State. At the plate, she has hits in 33 of her 43 games.
The Bruins face Alabama on Friday in a winner's bracket game at the Women's College World Series at 6:30 p.m. PT/8:30 p.m. CT on ESPN2.