Softball vs. South  Florida Gators

Jami Lobpries

Kissimmee, FL  June 10, 2015- The Honda Sports Award is an annual award presented by the Collegiate Women Sports Award (CWSA) to the top female athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports. According to the CWSA, the Honda Award is awarded to the “best of the best in collegiate athletics.” This year’s best of the best in college softball is USSSA Pride rookie Madison Shipman.

On Monday, the CWSA announced the former Tennessee All-American was the 2014 Honda Award winner for softball. Beyond athletic achievement, the Honda Sports Award recognizes an athlete’s scholastic excellence and community involvement. Shipman, an anthropology major, was a four-time Dean’s List student and active leader in the Knoxville community. The Honda Sports Award was voted on by coaches from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA).

As the softball award winner, Shipman, who was the 2014 Southeastern Conference (SEC) Player of the Year and 2014 Lowe’s Senior CLASS award winner for softball, automatically becomes a finalist for the 2014 Honda Cup and Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year.

Shipman said she was honored to be a part of the Honda award’s legendary list of recipients. That legendary list of Honda Sports Award winners includes four additional USSSA Pride players. In fact, a Pride player has been named the Honda Sports Award winner for softball nine times in the past 12 years. Keilani Ricketts won the award in 2013 and 2012, Danielle Lawrie won the award in 2009 and 2010, Cat Osterman won the award in 2005 and 2006, and Natasha Watley won the award in 2003. Former Pride outfielder Kelsey Bruder was the Honda Sports Award recipient in 2011.

Both Ricketts (2013) and Watley (2003) took home the Honda Cup as the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. Lawrie and Osterman each made the Top Three for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year in 2009 and 2005 respectively.

“I am extremely honored. It’s almost surreal to see my name on the same list as some of the great players in our game like Keilani, Danielle, Cat and Natasha.” Beyond being on the same list, Shipman is looking forward to playing alongside her fellow Honda award winners. “I’m excited to play alongside them and learn everything I can from them.”

The Honda Cup winner will be announced on Monday, June 30th during a live telecast of the Collegiate Women Sports Award on CBS Sports Network. Shipman and her family will be in attendance at the award show in Los Angeles, California.

About USSSA Florida Pride:

The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad.

About NPF:

National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball since 2002.

About USSSA:

The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), headquartered in Osceola County, Florida, USSSA is the World’s Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA News!