OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.-- The Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States, announced today the selection of Washington's Danielle Lawrie (Langley, British Columbia) as the recipient of the 8th Annual USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award. The Pac-10 leader in wins, ERA, strikeouts and shutouts, Washington's Lawrie is also among the nation's top three in all four categories.
"First of all I have to say congratulations to both Kaitlin (Cochran) and Stacey (Nelson) on a great season. It very well could have been either of them standing up here instead of me," said Lawrie. " I have to say thanks to my dad who has been such a great supporter of my career and also to my teammates, as I could not be here without them. They allow me to stand up here and receive this award so I am very grateful to them. Also a thanks to Coach Tarr who has helped me throughout my career to be the player I am."
"We've never had an award like this at Washington for softball. It's awesome thinking back four or five years ago when I was sitting with Danielle while we were trying to recruit her and how far she has come. I know the belief she has always had in herself and we have always had in her and its neat to see that finally come to fruition. I'm just really proud of her and what she has been able to do for our program. The fact that she has one more full year left is amazing."
The junior from Langley, British Columbia, is the third pitcher in Pac-10 history with 24+ strikeouts in a game. Lawrie has thrown two no-hitters this season, against UCLA and Arizona to become the first pitcher in NCAA history to no-hit both in a career, let alone a season. She set a school record in the NCAA Regional Championship deciding game against No. 20 UMass, striking out 24 batters in a 6-1, 15-inning win. It was her 25th double-digit strikeout game of the season. She has also had two 18 strikeout games, one in seven innings against Oregon and another in 11 innings against Fresno State and has 18 shutouts, 12 of which have come against ranked teams. Among the team's she has shutout and their ranking at the time: No. 1 Florida, No. 2 UCLA, No. 4 Alabama, No. 5 Stanford, No. 6 Arizona, No. 7 Michigan, No. 8 Georgia and No. 11 Ohio State. Last weekend, Lawrie broke her own school record for strikeouts in a season with 472 and she also set school records for wins in a season with 37 and shutouts with 19.
She has gone over the 1,300 career strikeout mark this season and now has 1,316, fifth in Pac-10 history and 15th in NCAA history. Lawrie has won a Pac-10 record six Pitcher of the Week awards and has also been named the NFCA and USA Softball National Player of the Week. Lawrie had a streak of 64.1 consecutive scoreless innings earlier in the season and 90.0 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. She broke UW's career strikeout record early in the season and also broke the single-season UW strikeout record.
While dominating from the circle, Lawrie also contributed at the plate this season for the Huskies. To get her team to Oklahoma City, she not only earned the win in game two against Georgia Tech but she also hit two homeruns for four RBI for the 7-0 win. Lawrie has hit .277 on the season, scoring 13 runs with six homeruns and 25 RBI. She tied for third on the team in slugging percentage with .500.
The three finalists for the 2009 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award including Lawrie were Kaitlin Cochran (Arizona State) and Stacey Nelson (Florida).
A replica of the award will be placed in a permanent display in the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, along with photos of the winner. An additional replica of the award will be presented to the player's academic institution at a designated event in the fall.
Past winners of the award include Stacey Nuveman (UCLA-2002), Osterman (Texas-2003, 2005, 2006), Jessica Van der Linden (Florida State-2004), Monica Abbott (Tennessee-2007) and Angela Tincher (Virginia Tech-2008).