OKLAHOMA CITY--Arizona sophomore centerfielder Caitlin Lowe was today named one of four finalists for the Honda Softball Award and one of three finalists for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award.
The Honda Award was begun for softball in 1976 as part of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards, culminating in thew Broderick Award to the top female collegiate student-athlete in any sport. The Amateur Softball Association began its Player of the Year award three years ago.
Lowe joins pitcher Cat Osterman of Texas, catcher Kristen Rivera of Washington and pitcher/infielder Amanda Scarborough of Texas A&M in the running for the Honda Award. She, Osterman and Michigan pitcher Jennie Ritter are finalists for the USA Softball award.
Lowe, Osterman and Ritter all are in Oklahoma City for the Women's College World Series, where the USA Softball Player of the Year award will be announced at the series opening ceremonies Wednesday evening. The Honda Award is selected in balloting by senior women administrators of member NCAA institutions and will be announced late this week.
Lowe, the nation's batting leader at .527, has a total of 31 multiple-hit games. She shared the Pac-10 Player of the Year honor with Rivera and also received first-team All-Pacific Region Honors. Entering the Women's College World Series with a 14-game hit streak, she is just three hits away from reaching the century mark with 100 hits.
The initial list of 25 finalists for the USA honor was announced April 6 -- including UA's Alicia Hollowell and Kristie Fox -- with that list being narrowed down to 10 on May 10.
“It’s definitely an honor to be included in this list of athletes,” said Lowe. “We are extremely excited to be back in Oklahoma City. I have been trying to do my job all year in the lead off position for our 3, 4, 5 hitters and have brought leadership from last year to the field.”
Last year's Honda Award and the USA Softball honor were both won by pitcher/utility player Jessica van der Linden of Florida State.
Arizona has had five Honda winners -- pitcher Susie Parra in 1993, infielder Jenny Dalton in 1995, pitcher Nancy Evans in 1998, and pitcher Jennie Finch in both 2001 and 2002. Other Wildcats who have been finalists are Amy Chellevold, Laura Espinoza, Alison Johnsen (McCutcheon), Leah Braatz, Lovie Jung and Alicia Hollowell.
Hollowell was among 10 finalists for the USA Player of the Year honor in 2003 and 2004, while Lowe reached the cutoff last season.