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Amber Patton Named One of 10 Finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award

CHICAGO -- DePaul senior All-American Amber Patton joins an impressive lineup of 10 senior softball student-athletes, who were named finalists for the 2009 Lowe’s Senior Class Award.  Nationwide balloting begins immediately to determine the third annual winner, who will receive the award during the NCAA Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Patton, who leads the Blue Demons (17-7, 5-0 BIG EAST) with a .482 average and 41 hits this season, has represented DePaul at BIG EAST Student-Athlete Advisory Council as well as NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Conference.  An active member of DePaul’s Captains Council, Patton has volunteered to make lunches for the homeless as well as raised money for breast cancer research. Patton was named to the ASA Softball Preseason Top-50 Watch List, while she has earned BIG EAST Conference Player of the Week honors twice this season.

The finalists were chosen from a list of 30 candidates based on personal qualities that define a complete student-athlete. These four primary areas of criteria include: classroom, community, character and competition.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award has developed into the nation’s premier tribute to college seniors. The award, which launched in 2001 with college basketball, is now in its third year for softball.  Former Blue Demon great Sandy Vojik and Kate Sheaks were also finalists for the award.

The 2009 finalists include: Whitney Haller, Georgia Tech University; Lillian Hammond, University of Tennessee; Jenae Leles, University of Arizona; Jessica Mapes, Arizona State University; Stacey Nelson, University of Florida; Amber Patton, DePaul University; Missy Penna, Stanford University; Samantha Ricketts, University of Oklahoma; Brittany Rogers, University of Alabama; Tammy Williams, Northwestern University.

These 10 names will be placed on the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award softball ballot for a nationwide vote beginning March 30 and concluding May 7. Fan balloting, available on the award’s official website, will be combined with votes from coaches, media and sponsors to determine the recipient of the award.

“These outstanding student-athletes deserve recognition for their all-around achievements in the classroom, in the community and on the softball field,” said Bob Gfeller, Lowe’s senior vice president of marketing. “The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award is dedicated to honoring individuals who are making an impact on others with their talents. Lowe’s commends each of these finalists, along with their respective coaches and universities.”

The 2009 award winner will be announced and presented with the prestigious Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award trophy at the Opening Ceremonies of the NCAA Women’s College World Series on June 2nd in Oklahoma City, OK. The Lowe’s All-Senior All-America Team, based on final results of the balloting, will also be recognized.

The Blue Demons return to Lincoln Park for BIG EAST Conference doubleheaders with Seton Hall and Pittsburgh over the weekend.