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Florida's Kelsey Bruder honored as nation's top softball player



bruderhondathumb.jpgFlorida senior Kelsey Bruder has been named the winner of the 2011 Honda Sports Award in softball, awarded to the nation’s top collegiate female athlete in the sport.

The award is based on the results of national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of The Collegiate Women Sports Awards program, now in its 35th year.

“Winning the Honda Award is such an incredible honor,'' Bruder said.  "To be recognized as the best player in college softball seems absolutely surreal and I could not be more grateful to be among both the past and present Honda Sports Award nominees and recipients. Receiving this award would not have been possible without every single one of my teammates. The dedication of our players is extremely admirable and has motivated me to create an even better work ethic.  I am so blessed to have played with these tremendous athletes. I’m confident we will continue to build upon the tradition of success associated with the University of Florida.”

Bruder is part of the winningest class in UF history, leading the SEC through league play in runs (32), doubles (10), slugging percentage
(.883), hits (40), RBI (36) and home runs (11). She tops Florida’s all-time list for total bases in a season (152) and her 79 runs in 2011
is a single-season school record. She was also a part of the NCAA-record 70 wins her freshman year in 2008 and has been a part of just 33 losses in her four-year tenure at Florida. Bruder carries a 3.70 GPA as a Health, Education & Behavior major, and will earn her undergraduate degree following an internship in December 2011. She is currently playing softball professionally in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league with the USSSA Florida Pride, based out of Orlando, Florida.

The Honda Sports Award is given annually to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports, along with automatic eligibility to become a “Top Three” finalist for Collegiate Female Athlete of the Year and a candidate for the Honda-Broderick Cup that is awarded annually to The Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. 

The ballot listing all 12 individual sports winners will be sent to NCAA-member schools for balloting June 16, 2011, and the top three vote-getters become finalists for the Collegiate Women Athlete of the Year.  The Top Three will be finalized June 21. Bruder was voted over three other softball nominees for the 2011 award: Ashley Hansen, a junior at Stanford University, Jolene Henderson, a sophomore at the University of California, Berkeley and Chelsea Thomas, a sophomore at the University of Missouri. The nominees in softball were selected by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.

[Photo: University of Florida]

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 1:52pm]


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