April 2, 2014
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Senior Nicole Sappingfield (Norco, Calif./Norco) of the No. 5-ranked University of Michigan softball team today (Wednesday, April 2) was named one of 10 finalists for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award in collegiate softball. Fan voting will determine the award winner.
Finalists were chosen by national media from the list of 30 candidates announced in February. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote on the Senior CLASS Award website through May 12. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches' votes to determine the winner. The Senior CLASS award winner will be announced during the 2014 Women's College World Series (May 29-June 4).
Sappingfield is in her fourth year starting for head coach Carol Hutchins in the outfield. She is a two-time team captain, one of just five players in U-M's 37-year history to earn that honor from her teammates. She has also been an All-Big Ten performer twice (first team in 2011, second team in 2012). Sappingfield is currently 34th in the nation with a batting average of .438 and has piled up 14 multi-hit games in 31 games this season.
To date, Sappingfield is a career .353 hitter with an on-base percentage of .398 and 160 runs scored. Sappingfield is 10th on U-M's career list for runs scored and tied for eighth in career sacrifice hits (39). 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.
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."
The Maize and Blue will take on Detroit tonight at the Wilpon Complex, home of Alumni Field. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m.
2014 Senior CLASS Award Finalists
Dallas Escobedo, Arizona State
Kaila Hunt, Alabama
Kaitlin Inglesby, Washington
Katie Keller, Louisville
Destinee Martinez, Oklahoma
Sara Nevins, South Florida
Nicole Sappingfield, Michigan
Madison Shipman, Tennessee
Hannah Rogers, Florida
Alysha Rudnik, Georgia Tech
Contact: Michael Kasiborski