Feb. 20, 2014
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Senior outfielder Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco) of the University of Michigan softball is one of 30 NCAA softball players nominated for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award as announced Thursday (Feb. 20). Sappingfield is one of five Big Ten student-athletes on the list, and is the first Wolverines nominee since Bree Evans in 2012.
To be eligible for the award, a NCAA Division I student-athlete must have notable achievements in four categories: community, classroom, character and competition. The acronym CLASS stands for "Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School."
Sappingfield is a four-year starter for the Maize and Blue and is in her second season as a captain, just the fifth Wolverine to earn the captaincy for more than one year. She has also been an All-Big Ten performer twice (first team in 2011, second team in 2012). To date, she is a career .338 hitter with an on-base percentage of .388 and 140 runs scored. She also owns the longest recorded hit streak in U-M history at 20 games, achieved in 2011.
Academically, Sappingfield is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. She is pursuing a degree in comparative literature, focused on English and Spanish-language literature with an emphasis on human rights. She is scheduled to graduate at the conclusion of this semester and plans on attending law school.
Off the field, Sappingfield has been active in Michigan softball's volunteer work with Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. Each fall she raises money for the Making Strides Ann Arbor walk, personally raising more than $1,000 in 2013. Each spring, she serves as a clinician for the Michigan Softball Academy, another fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. In her four years in Ann Arbor, she has been a part of teams that have raised more than $200,000 in the fight against breast cancer.
The candidate class of 30 will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the "four C's" of community, classroom, character and competition. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2014 NCAA Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City (May 29-June 4). You can visit the Senior CLASS Award website to learn more about Sappingfield and the other 29 candidates.
The Maize and Blue return to the diamond on Friday (Feb. 21) to take on Kent State and Pittsburgh in a doubleheader at the FAU Kickoff Classic in Boca Raton, Fla. First pitch against Kent State is scheduled for 11 a.m.
2013 Senior CLASS Award Softball Candidates
|Elizabeth Arana, Stephen F. Austin||Mari Majam, Northwestern|
|Kate Bowen, Manhattan||Destinee Martinez, Oklahoma|
|Morgan Boyd, Norfolk State||Jayme Mask, Boston|
|Hannah Campbell, South Alabama||Sara Moulton, Minnesota|
|Becca Changstrom, Creighton||Sara Nevins, South Florida|
|Tatum Edwards, Nebraska||Erika Polidori, Oakland|
|Dallas Escobedo, Arizona State||Hannah Rogers, Florida|
|Brittany Gardner, Loyola (Chicago)||Alysha Rudnik, Georgia Tech|
|Jennifer Gilbert, Ball State||Kourtney Salvarola, South Florida|
|Meghan Harman, Loyola Marymount||Nicole Sappingfield, Michigan|
|Kaila Hunt, Alabama||Madison Shipman, Tennessee|
|Kaitlin Inglesby, Washington||Jayna Spivey, Southern Illinois|
|Katie Keller, Louisville||Andie Varsho, Purdue|
|Kasey Lange, Harvard||Bailey Wigness, Arizona State|
|Aubrey Mable, Bryant||Laura Winter, Notre Dame|
Contact: Michael Kasiborski firstname.lastname@example.org