February 15, 2012 at 4:13 PM HST - Updated June 26 at 9:52 AM
OVERLAND PARK, KS (HawaiiNewsNow) —University of Hawai`i softball pitcher, Stephanie Ricketts was tabbed as one of thirty NCAA softball student-athletes who excel both on and off the field as candidates today for the 2012 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. 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 – community, classroom, character and competition.
Ricketts, a starting pitcher for the Rainbow Wahine, is the two-time defending Western Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year, a two-time NFCA all-West Region player, and a 2011 Easton All-American. Currently, she is the reigning WAC Pitcher of the Week after going 3-0 in last week's Oceanic Time Warner Cable Paradise Classic. Ricketts is UH's all-time career strike out leader with 620 and is just the second Rainbow Wahine to win over 20 games in three consecutive seasons. She has a career record of 78-32 with 131 appearances, 90 complete games, 25 shut-outs in 740.1 innings pitched and has a career 1.96 ERA.
Off the field, Ricketts is a psychology major who is slated to graduate this spring in four years with a B.A. degree. She is a two-time NFCA scholar-Athlete and two-time academic all-WAC player. Ricketts is also a long-time volunteer mostly in her hometown of San Jose, Calif., where she's helped in various hospitals and nursing facilities and helped distribute care packages to homeless families. While in Hawai`i, she has served as a Special Olympics and Kids' Fest volunteer; helped conduct softball clinics; and she is currently a SAAC (Student Athletes Advisory Committee) representative. Most recently, she and her sisters—Samantha and Keilani—were instructors and supervisors of a softball clinic in Pago Pago, Samoa in conjunction with the annual Samoa Bowl activities. After graduation, Ricketts is interested following in her mother and grandmother's footsteps in furthering her education to become either a psychiatric or oncology nurse and would like to continue playing softball oversees while continuing to run clinics in Samoa.
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 students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
The 2012 candidate class includes six CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-Americans from last season and 12 student-athletes with cumulative grade point averages of 3.5 or higher. Three candidates were Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association first-team All-Americans in 2011, 13 candidates are on teams ranked in the ESPN.com/USA Softball preseason top 25, and five participated in last year's NCAA Women's College World Series®.
Lowe's, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, will announce the Senior CLASS Award® winner during the 2012 NCAA Women's College World Series, which will be held May 31-June 6 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, Division I head coaches and fans who will select one finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.
Softball Candidates Valerie Arioto, Pitcher/First Base, California Gracie Barstad, Third Base, Western Michigan Emily Bledsoe, Infield, Texas Tech Katelyn Boyd, Shortstop, Arizona State Rachel Brown, Pitcher, Harvard Ashley Burnham, Shortstop, James Madison Molly Coldren, Infield, Central Michigan Kacee Cox, Catcher/First Base, St. John's (N.Y.) Mallory Duran-Sellers, Outfield, Southern Illinois Bree Evans, Outfield, Michigan Julie Fernandez, First Base, Lehigh Michelle Fuzzard, Pitcher/DP, Chattanooga Chelsea Garcia, Shortstop, Oklahoma State Molly Garst, Infield, Purdue Ashley Guile, Infield, Nebraska Ashley Hagemann, Pitcher, Nebraska Ashley Hansen, Shortstop, Stanford Shayla Jackson, Outfield, Florida State Natalie Land, Shortstop, Central Florida Brittany Mack, Pitcher, LSU Ashley McClain, Outfield/Pitcher, Florida International Jen Mineau, Pitcher, Fordham Adrienne Monka, First Base, Northwestern Michelle Moultrie, Centerfield, Florida Christi Orgeron, Utility, Louisiana Cassie Reilly-Boccia, Outfield/First Base, Alabama Stephanie Ricketts, Pitcher, Hawaii Rachel Riley, Pitcher/DP, Kentucky Liz Watkins, Catcher, Iowa Niki Williams, Utility, Washington
ABOUT THE AWARD An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award honors the attributes of senior student-athletes in four areas: community, classroom, character and competition. The award program is designed exclusively for college seniors who are utilizing their complete athletic eligibility, remaining committed to their university and pursuing the many rewards a senior season can bring. The award is sponsored by Lowe's, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, and is managed by Premier Sports Management.