UW's Danielle Lawrie wins USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year
The Washington junior pitcher, from Langley, B.C., has set school records in six categories in 2009: wins (37), strikeouts (472), innings pitched (308), shutouts (19), starts (43) and complete games (39).
Special to The Seattle Times
Danielle Lawrie highlightsWashington junior pitcher Danielle Lawrie was named college softball's player of the year Tuesday. The announcement was made in Oklahoma City, where the Huskies are preparing to play in the College World Series.
By the numbers: Lawrie is 37-7 this season, with a 0.84 earned-run average. She leads the nation with 472 strikeouts.
At the plate: Lawrie, the Huskies' cleanup hitter, is batting .277 with six home runs. She hit two home runs in Sunday's super-regional win at Georgia Tech. She is hitting .381 in postseason play with a team-high nine runs batted in.
2009: Lawrie opened the season 15-0 with an ERA of 0.14. ... She struck out 10 or more batters 25 times this season. ... She has thrown shutouts against five of the Huskies' seven World Series opponents. ... Pitched 64-1/3 consecutive scoreless innings in February and March. ... In addition to the National Player-of-the-Year award, Lawrie was the Pac-10 pitcher of the year, and was pitcher of the week six times.
Career: Through three seasons, Lawrie ranks 15th in career strikeouts (1,316) among NCAA Division I pitchers, and is fifth on the Pac-10 career list. ... She has thrown four no-hitters, four one-hitters and 10 two-hitters. ... Lawrie, a member of the Canadian national team from 2005-08, pitched for Canada in the 2008 Olympics (1-1 record, 13 strikeouts in 12 innings).
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Her hometown is Langley, British Columbia, but on Tuesday Washington's Danielle Lawrie was named the best college softball player in America.
Lawrie, UW's dominating one-woman pitching staff and the nation's leader in strikeouts (472 in 308 innings), was named 2009 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year in Oklahoma City, where the third-seeded Huskies are preparing to open play Thursday in the Women's College World Series.
"Shock, surprise, feeling lucky to be noticed," Lawrie said Tuesday night upon learning she had become the first Husky to win the award. "All kinds of emotions tied into one."
A redshirt junior and the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year, Lawrie topped two other finalists for the award, both seniors: Florida pitcher Stacey Nelson (39-3, 0.41 earned-run average) and Arizona State outfielder Kaitlin Cochran, a .422 hitter who leads the nation in on-base percentage (.615).
After redshirting in 2008 to pitch for Canada in the Beijing Olympic Games, Lawrie (37-7) has enjoyed her finest season at UW in 2009, setting season school records in six categories: wins (37), strikeouts (472), innings pitched (308), shutouts (19), starts (43) and complete games (39).
She has set a season school record in strikeouts in each of her three seasons at UW: 387 as a freshman in 2006, 457 in 2007 and now 472, and counting. With 1,316 strikeouts in just three seasons, Lawrie ranks 15th among NCAA career strikeout leaders.
Lawrie also shines as a hitter. She bats cleanup, and has a .277 average with six home runs. She hit two home runs in Sunday' super-regional win at Georgia Tech. She is hitting .381 in postseason play with a team-high nine runs batted in.
What pleases her most about her performance in 2009?
"The mental side," said Lawrie, 22. "Each year I get more experienced, and that helps.
"I was put through some different situations with the national team that got me to be mentally tough. Those situations have made me the type of player that I am now."
Coach Heather Tarr praised Lawrie for her command of a four-pitch arsenal (rise ball, curve, screwball, changeup).
"She's obviously proven that she can dominate as a pitcher," she said. "Who knows if anybody will ever beat her records."
Tarr still marvels at Lawrie's performance May 17 when she pitched back-to-back games to keep UW's postseason hopes alive. The second game lasted five-plus hours and 15 innings.
Lawrie struck out 24 batters and threw 395 pitches in the two games.
"That was probably the most mentally tough performance I've ever seen in my life from any athlete I've ever coached, played with or witnessed," Tarr said.
Information in this article, originally published May 27, 2009, was corrected the same day. Danielle Lawrie was mistakenly identified as ranking 25th among NCAA career strikeout leaders. Lawrie ranks as 15th.
Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company
UPDATE - 10:18 PM
Washington State's Klay Thompson will play Thursday against Huskies