For the third consecutive year, a Pacific Lutheran University student-athlete has earned the Northwest Conference Woman of the Year Award. Softball player Kaaren Hatlen is the 2013 recipient and becomes the conference's nominee for the 2013 NCAA Woman of the Year award.
Hatlen's former softball teammate, Stacey Hagensen, earned the honor in 2012, while volleyball player Beth Hanna was the recipient in 2011.
"The award is well-deserved," said Greg Seeley, the program's interim head coach after serving as the associate head coach for five seasons. "Kaaren is the epitome of a scholar-athlete. I would describe her as kind, humble, and caring with a fierce competitiveness. From her long list of accomplishments, you can tell she is an extremely hard worker, but what sets Kaaren apart is her consistent leadership expressed through service to others."
A four-year letter winner for the Lutes softball team, Hatlen received first team All-Northwest Conference recognition as a designated player in each of her final three seasons. She finished the 2013 campaign with a .386 batting average, 12 home runs and 53 runs batted in and helped the Lutes to a 27-17 overall record and a second-place finish in the Northwest Conference standings.
Hatlen's prowess on the softball field is equaled by her success in the classroom. This year, for the second consecutive season, she earned Capital One Academic All-America Division III First Team recognition as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). She was the only repeat selection on the 2013 academic All-America first team, and also became the first Pacific Lutheran student-athlete in any sport to earn CoSIDA academic All-America first team honors twice during a career.
Last year, Hatlen was a first team All-America selection both on the field and in the classroom and helped the Lutes win the 2012 Division III national title.
Hatlen graduated from Pacific Lutheran this spring with a 3.95 grade point average while majoring in mathematics. Winner of the 2013 Lute Career Athletic Achievement Award, Hatlen was a mathematics tutor and student-athlete mentor, worked as a Red Carpet Club Guide for prospective students, and served for several years on the PLU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
The NCAA Woman of the Year award, which will be announced in Indianapolis in October, honors a graduating student-athlete who has proven herself throughout her collegiate careers in academic achievement, athletics excellence, community service, and leadership.
- PLU -