Kelsie Batten, a senior pitcher from the University of Texas at Tyler, was named the softball nominee for the Division III Honda Athlete of the Year award as announced by Executive Director Chris Voelz of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) presented by Honda.
She is now designated one of 11 finalists for the prestigious DIII Honda Athlete of the Year honor. This will be voted on at the end of the academic year by national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of THE CWSA program, now in its 40th year.
“It is such an honor to be named the Collegiate Women Sports Awards softball DIII athlete of the year nominee. It is so special and so humbling,” said Batten. “It means so much to me to have my hard work and dedication recognized. I couldn't have done this without my family, my teammates, coaches, and my university. Thank you so much for this award.”
The Huntington, Texas, native was named the Schutt Sports/NFCA Division III National Player of the Year award after leading the Patriots to the NCAA DIII National Championship and finishing her career as a four-time NFCA All-American.
With a 36-4 record this season, her 36 wins led the nation and are the fourth most in a season in NCAA DIII history. She finished her career with 118 career victories which are the third most in the history of the sport.
She went on to establish every pitching record in program history including wins (118), saves (8), appearances (158), starts (134), complete games (79), shutouts (40), combined shutouts (19), innings pitched (817 1/3), strikeouts (555), strikeouts looking (186) and batters faced (3,183). Batten’s senior season was her best as she would set single-season program records with her 36 wins, 13 shutouts and 194 strikeouts.
“Kelsie capped one of the best careers in DIII history with her best season and a National Championship,” UT Tyler head coach Mike Reed said. “She has been rewriting the record books since she arrived at UT Tyler. She is a true competitor who is as good a person as she is all-American pitcher. I could not be more proud of her for receiving this award.”
All sports nominees from DIII and DII become a finalist for the prestigious 2016 Honda Collegiate Athlete of the Year in their respective divisions, and will be presented on a live telecast on June 27, 2016, in the Founders’ Room at the Galen Center on the campus of the University of Southern California in downtown Los, Angeles.
The sports nominees are recognized in 11 DIII and DII NCAA-sanctioned sports; cross country, basketball, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, volleyball, and track & field.
The CWSA, celebrating its 40th year, has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its sponsorship thirty years ago in 1986, Honda has provided more than $3.0 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.