Rachel Garcia, a rs-junior from UCLA, was named the Honda Sport Award winner for Softball for the second year in a row as announced today by Chris Voelz, Executive Director of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA).
The Honda Sport Award has been presented annually by the CWSA for the past 43 years to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA- sanctioned sports and signifies “the best of the best in collegiate athletics”. With this honor, Garcia becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious Class of 2019 Honda Cup which will be presented on a live telecast on CBS Sports Network on June 24, 2019, at 6 pm PT/9 pm ET, in downtown Los Angeles.
Garcia was chosen by a vote of administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Finalists included Abbey Cheek (Kentucky), Caleigh Clifton (Oklahoma) and Amber Fiser (Minnesota).
“I am extremely honored and humbled to receive the Honda Award in the sport of softball,” stated Garcia. “To be named as a finalist alongside Abbey Cheek, Amber Fiser and Caleigh Clifton is an honor in itself. I am so grateful to represent UCLA as a student-athlete in the sport that has given me so much. I want to thank my coaches and teammates for their continued support because without them, I could not do what I do. This season was exceptional and to win the National Title with my team will forever be special.”
Hailing from Palmdale, Calif., Garcia was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2019 Women’s College World Series after leading the Bruins to the program’s 13th National Championship. She has won back-to-back USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year honors and is a two-time NFCA first-team All-American. This year she was named the Pac-12 Player and Pitcher of the Year, making her the first-ever player named both in a single season.
The Class of 2018 Honda Award winner for Softball, Garcia led the Bruins with a 1.14 earned run average, a 29-1 record, four saves and 286 strikeouts in 202 innings. She went 9-0 in the NCAA Tournament with a 1.49 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 65 2/3 innings and also led the team with 16 RBI. She led all postseason players in wins and RBI.
On the season, she hit .343 on the season with 11 home runs, 57 runs batted in and a team-best 35 walks.
“We are so proud for our Rachel Garcia to be honored with the Honda Award for Softball in back-to-back years,” said head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez. “She has put UCLA Softball back on the stage and brought home a national championship in front of millions of viewers. She represents one of the greatest to ever wear the four letters here at UCLA.”
Honda Sport Award winners will be presented with the honor during on-campus presentations throughout the year.
The CWSA, in its 43rd year, honors the nation’s top NCAA women athletes recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $3.3 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.
Honda seeks to be a company that society wants to exist, creating products and technologies that improve the lives of people while minimizing the environmental impacts of its products and business operations to ensure a sustainable future.
Honda also is committed to making positive contributions to the communities where it does business, conducting socially responsible business practices and promoting diversity in its workforce. From Honda’s involvement in STEM education and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) to its support of pediatric brain tumor research and volunteer efforts by Honda associates, including environmental clean-up activities, Honda believes in giving back to the communities where its associates live and work.
Learn more at http://csr.honda.com/