Iowa softball's Watkins a candidate for Senior CLASS Award

BY DI STAFF | FEBRUARY 16, 2012 6:30 AM

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Iowa softball catcher Liz Watkins is a candidate for the 2012 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, the team announced on Wednesday.

Eligible athletes must be a Division-I senior and have "notable achievements in four areas of excellence — community, classroom, character, and competition," a release said.

Watkins' contributions to the community include volunteering at Habitat for Humanity, the Special Olympics, and Iowa City Cleanup Days. The Illinois native is majoring and business management and organizations and carries a 3.2 grade-point average.

Watkins played a major role in getting an Illinois law passed that made it mandatory for every male high-school athlete to be checked for testicular cancer. One of Watkins' best friends was diagnosed with the disease and passed away in 2008.

Finally, Watkins is a three-time All-Big Ten selection and is working on a .316 batting average. Her 23 career home runs are tied for fourth in Iowa history, and her 110 RBIs are good for ninth-best.

Watkins is one of 30 candidates for the award; the list will be narrowed to 10 finalists halfway through the regular season, and ballots will be distributed to the media, Division-I head coaches, and fans via the Lowe's Senior CLASS website.

The winner will be announced during the College World Series, which will be held May 31-June 6 in Oklahoma City.

— by Seth Roberts

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