OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Four-time All-Southeastern Conference selection Kayla Braud of Alabama has been selected as the 2013 Senior CLASS Award winner in NCAA® Division I softball.
The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I softball coaches, national softball media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I softball. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – classroom, community, character and competition.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
"I am so honored to receive this award and represent the University of Alabama. It would not have been possible to achieve this great honor without the life lessons and support of my coaches, teammates and staff here at UA,” Braud said. "It has been a true pleasure to be able to give back to a community that has given so much to me over the last four years. I am humbled by this award and I share it with this community and university."
The Eugene, Ore., native is an academic all-American and National Fastpitch Coaches Association Scholar-Athlete. The public relations major carries a 3.7 grade point average and has been on the Dean’s List her entire career. In the community, Braud assisted with relief efforts in Tuscaloosa after a devastating tornado. She participates in Read Across America, the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation and in the Autism Society of America’s Light It Blue campaign and Walk for Autism.
"Kayla Braud is one of those kids who comes along once in a coaches’ lifetime. She did everything right on and off the field as witnessed by her being named a three-time academic All-American and a three-time NFCA All-American,” Alabama coach Patrick Murphy said. “She was one of the best leaders we have had in our program and willed this year's team to 45 wins. Her legacy will be one to emulate for years to come."
Braud finished the regular season with a .471 batting average and a team-high 90 hits. She scored 65 runs and recorded 23 RBI. This year, she was selected as a first-team All-SEC member for the third time in her career and was also named to the conference’s all-defensive team. The defending NCAA champion Tide finished the regular season 45-15.
“Kayla has maintained a high level of performance on one of the best softball teams in the nation year in and year out,” said Erik Miner, executive director for the Senior CLASS Award. “She’s also demonstrated a high level of service in those four years, devoting many hours to worthy projects in her college community.”
Braud joins Charlotte Morgan as the second member of the Alabama softball team to win the award. Morgan nabbed the accolade in 2010.