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June 6, 2012

Hagensen Earns Prestigious Division III Honda Award

LOS ANGELES, California - Stacey Hagensen, who pitched Pacific Lutheran University to its first NCAA title in softball, has been named the Honda Sports Award Division III Player of the Year. Her selection by the Collegiate Women Sports Awards program recognizes Hagensen as the top Division III female athlete.

The Collegiate Women Sports Awards Board of Directors will present Hagensen with the Honda Sports Award Division III Player of the Year on June 23 as part of the live broadcast of the Honda Cup announcement from the ESPN Studios in Los Angeles, Calif.

The senior from Bellevue, Wash., held defending national champion Linfield College to three hits in the Lutes' 3-0 victory. Hagensen received second team All-America honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association this year after earning third team recognition in 2011, and she is a two-time Northwest Conference Pitcher of the Year.

"I was surprised and very honored when I found out I was selected for this award," Hagensen said. "The support that my team and I have received from PLU and the surrounding communities has been overwhelming. I thank God for the opportunity I have had to play with great teammates and coaches and am grateful for all that I have learned through my career."

Hagensen, who graduated summa cum laude with majors in economics and mathematics from Pacific Lutheran University, earned 2012 Capital One Academic All-America Division III First Team honors as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

She has been involved in numerous campus activities throughout her four years at PLU including Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) representative, student-athlete mentor, math tutor, residence hall president, ASPLU bookkeeper, orientation guide, and women's Bible study leader.

"Stacey has been the heart and soul of the PLU softball program since she came to the university four years ago," PLU head coach Erin Van Nostrand said. "She is truly deserving of this award, which honors student athletes not only for what they accomplish on the field, but for what they achieve in the classroom and in their community. She has been a leader both on and off the field and I could not be more proud of her."

Hagensen is the second Pacific Lutheran softball player to be nominated for the Division III Athlete of the Year award, but the first to win it. Shannon Fritzke, the 2002 Division III Catcher of the Year and a first team All-American, was nominated that same year.

The Honda Sports Award for Division III Athlete of the Year is presented annually to the top woman athlete chosen from 11 NCAA-sanctioned sports, with each selected from coaches' panels, All-America committees or finish at the respective national championship.  Sports include: basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, and volleyball.

Hagensen was chosen by a vote of coaches from NCAA member schools. Finalists included Caroline Stedman of Amherst College for basketball, Chiara Del Piccolo of Williams College for cross country, Lauren Greer of Middlebury College for field hockey, Catherine Wagner of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, for golf, Hannah Church of Gettysburg College for lacrosse, Jaime Orewiler of Wheaton College for soccer, Logan Todhunter of Williams College for swimming and diving, Gabrielle Clark of Emory University for tennis, Nevada Morrison of Wartburg College for track & field, and Rebecca Kamp of Calvin College for volleyball.

The Honda Sports Award program has its culmination in the presentation of the Collegiate Women Sports Award's top prize, the prestigious Honda Cup.  Since Honda began its involvement in 1986, the company has provided more than $2.5 million in institutional grants to the universities of nominees and award winners.

As the Division III Player of the Year, Hagensen joins an impressive roster of current honorees, including Sheila Reid of Villanova University (Cross Country), Megan Frazer of the University of Maryland (Field Hockey), Teresa Noyola of Stanford University (Soccer), Alex Jupiter of the University of Southern California (Volleyball), Caitlin Leverenz of the University of California, Berkeley (Swimming & Diving), Brittney Griner of Baylor University (Basketball), Kytra Hunter of the University of Florida (Gymnastics), Brooke Pancake of the University of Alabama (Golf), Taylor Thornton of Northwestern University (Lacrosse), Nicole Gibbs of Stanford University (Tennis), and 2012 Honda Inspiration Award winner Elena Delle Donne of the University of Delaware (Basketball).

Previous Honda Cup winners include Ann Meyers Drysdale, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Mia Hamm, Lisa Fernandez, Misty May-Treanor, Courtney Kupets, Maya Moore, and Candace Parker.

For more information:
CWSA Media Contact, Ann Herold
310-963-1860, ann@creativesportsstrategies.com