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Georgia Tech's Lever Named Finalist for USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year

April 5, 2007

ATLANTA – Georgia Tech’s Caitlin Lever was named as a Finalist to the USA Softball Collegiate Softball Player of the Year, announced by the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) late Wednesday. Lever, a senior from Amherst. N.Y., is one of 25 players to be selected to this list.

This award, which is considered one of the most prestigious honors in women’s collegiate softball, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country.

“I am very honored to be considered with this group of athletes,” said Lever. “The team has been working really hard this year and I feel like the practice and preparation is the product of this result. I hope that we continue to play well down the stretch and if the individual accolades come, then that is secondary.”

The top 25 is comprised of players representing 17 colleges and six different NCAA Division I Conferences. Among the list are 12 seniors, seven juniors, five sophomores and a red-shirt freshman. Five of the finalists were among the Top 25 finalists in 2006 including Tennessee’s Monica Abbott, Arizona’s Caitlin Lowe and Virginia Tech’s Angela Tincher who were also top 10 finalists last year.

Lever leads the Atlantic Coast Conference in most offensive categories, including batting average (.496), hits (69), doubles (13), runs batted in (49), total bases (112) and on base percentage (.563). She also ranks in the top 10 in the ACC with eight home runs, three triples and is second in the league with a .806 slugging percentage.

“We are proud of Caitlin,” said Tech coach Sharon Perkins. “It is quite an honor to be named amongst those great players. She gives you 100% each day and is constantly improving her game. Caitlin is an excellent leader and a joy to coach. She is worthy of this recognition.”

The two-time All-ACC selection also has 14 stolen bases in just 16 attempts on the season. Lever has been named ACC Player of the Week on two occasions this year, and is the active career batting average leader in the league at .376.

She becomes just the second Yellow Jacket to make this list, joining current sophomore Whitney Haller who accomplished this feat as a freshman in 2006.

The Yellow Jackets will host Florida State for a three-game ACC series this weekend at Glenn Field. The two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m., and a single game on Sunday at 1 p.m. Both games on Saturday can be followed via webscast on www.ACCSelect.com, or Jacket fans can follow via live stats on www.ramblinwreck.com.

The Top 25 finalists for the 2007 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award, listed in alphabetical order, are:

Monica Abbott Tennessee Salinas, Calif. Senior Pitcher
Katie Burkhart Arizona State San Luis Obispo, Calif. Junior Pitcher
Kaitlin Cochran Arizona State Yorba Linda, Calif. Sophomore Outfield
Garland Cooper Northwestern Mission Viejo, Calif. Senior First Base
Bianca Cruz Arizona State Surprise, Ariz. Senior Third Base
Norrelle Dickson Oklahoma Orange, Calif. Senior Third Base
Kristie Fox Arizona San Diego, Calif. Senior Shortstop
Megan Gibson Texas A&M Spring, Texas Junior RHP/1B
Leslie Klein LSU Sunrise, Fla. Senior Outfield
Danielle Lawrie Washington Langley, B.C. Sophomore Pitcher
Caitlin Lever Georgia Tech Amherst, N.Y. Senior Outfield
Caitlin Lowe Arizona Tustin, Calif. Senior Outfield
Brooke Marnitz Kentucky Lexington, Ken. Senior Shortstop
Ashley Monceaux Baylor Tucson, Ariz. Senior Infield
Chrissy Owens Alabama Miami, Fla. Junior Pitcher
Lauren Parker Alabama Port Neches, Texas Sophomore Infield
Amanda Renth Missouri Mascoutah, Ill. Junior Infield
Samantha Ricketts Oklahoma San Jose, Calif. Sophomore First Base
Jenn Salling Oregon Port Coquitlam, B.C. (RS)Freshman Shortstop
Amanda Scarborough Texas A&M Magnolia, Texas Junior RHP/1B
Lindsay Schutzler Tennessee Monterey, Calif. Senior Outfield
Holly Tankersley ULL Kirbyville, Texas Junior DP/Outfield
Angela Tincher Virginia Tech Eagle Rock, VA Junior Pitcher
Courtney Totte Oklahoma State Lawton, Okla. Senior Catcher
Tammy Williams Northwestern Roscoe, Mo. Sophomore Shortstop

On May 9, just days before the start of postseason play, a list of 10 finalists will be named. On May 23 the list will be cut to three and those final three players will travel to Oklahoma City for the announcement of the winner at the 2007 NCAA Women’s College World Series.

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 sporting event in the fall.

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