UCLA’s Rachel Garcia wins Collegiate Woman Athlete of Year


FILE – In this June 4, 2019, file photo, UCLA’s Rachel Garcia pitches against Oklahoma during the first inning of Game 2 of the best-of-three championship series in the NCAA softball Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City. UCLA softball player Rachel Garcia has been named Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. Garcia was presented with the Honda Cup on Monday night, June 24, 2019, in a ceremony at Galen Center on the USC campus.(AP Photo/Alonzo Adams, File)

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — UCLA softball player Rachel Garcia has earned the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year award.

Garcia was presented with the Honda Cup on Monday night in a ceremony at Galen Center on the USC campus.

The junior pitcher from Palmdale, California, was selected most outstanding player of the Women’s College World Series after leading the Bruins to their 13th national championship.

Garcia has won consecutive USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year honors. She was the Pac-12 player and pitcher of the year this season. She led UCLA with a 1.14 ERA while compiling a 29-1 record.

Garcia went 9-0 in the NCAA Tournament and led the field with 16 RBIs.

“She competed with fierceness and intensity, whether she was in the circle or at bat,” said Jean Lenti Ponsetto, chair of the CWSA board of directors.

UCLA pitching coach Lisa Fernandez, who won the Honda Cup in 1993, and head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez were in attendance. The other finalists were basketball player Megan Gustafson of Iowa and swimmer Lilly King of Indiana.

Volleyball player Jenna Fessler of Thomas More won the Honda Inspiration Award; volleyball player Taylor Reiss of Southwest Minnesota State won Division II Athlete of the Year; and basketball player Madison Temple of Thomas More won Division III Athlete of the Year.

The 12 finalists were decided in voting by nearly 1,000 NCAA member schools. The winner was chosen by the CWSA board.

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