FARMVILLE, Va. – Longwood senior and back-to-back Big South Pitcher of the Year Elizabeth McCarthy has been selected as one of 30 candidates from across the country for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award® in collegiate softball.

One of the most prestigious awards in college athletics, a student-athlete, to be considered as a candidate, must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.

“Biz came to us with character and competitive spirit because she was taught those things at a young age by her parents Chip and Lucy,” said Longwood head coach Kathy Riley. “Even with those tremendous attributes, the thing that you immediately recognize when meeting her is her genuine love for people. Biz is engaging, articulate, a great listener and, on top of that, she happens to be the two-time Big South Pitcher of the Year.”

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.

“Being considered for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award is not only a huge honor, but extremely humbling as well,” McCarthy said. “It’s a huge tribute to where I come from, the people who have influenced me throughout my life and especially my family who continues to inspire me to be a better person and athlete every day.”

On the playing field, McCarthy is already one of the most decorated pitchers in Longwood and Big South softball history. The Dunnsville, Va., product has helped Longwood to back-to-back Big South regular season and tournament championships and an appearance in the 2016 NCAA Regional Championship game against James Madison. McCarthy is just the fifth pitcher in Big South history to capture back-to-back Big South Pitcher of the Year honors and she’s also been named 2015 second-team NFCA All-Southeast Region and earned third-team honors last season.

McCarthy is primed to break Longwood’s all-time strikeout record during the 2017 season, as she enters Longwood’s three-game weekend series against Hofstra just 33 strikeouts away from both Briana Wells’ record and the top-10 for career strikeouts in the Big South record books.

“The environment I have been exposed to during my time as a member of the Longwood softball team has provided me with the opportunity to excel in all aspects of my life,” McCarthy said. “I can’t thank my coaches, Kathy Riley and Kayla Miller, as well as my teammates and friends enough for always pushing me to be my best self in the community, in school, and on the field.”

Throughout her time at Longwood, McCarthy has served in a number of leadership positions off the softball field, serving for two years as the vice president for Longwood’s Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC). In that role, McCarthy planned and oversaw community service projects while collaborating with the president of the committee. In addition, she also attended Big South Conference meetings and participated in media days for the conference.

McCarthy has also been involved throughout the community in her time at Longwood, as she’s been involved in various organizations such as Project Life, Operation Christmas Child and Relay for Life. In addition, during her time on SAAC, McCarthy organized Longwood’s efforts for Clothes/Coats/Shoes for Homeless Veterans.

“Biz cares deeply for Longwood, our athletic department, and the Farmville community which shows based on her involvement as SAAC vice president and the numerous service hours she has put in,” Riley said. “We’re very proud of her and can’t wait to see what impact she makes as a successful young adult.”

The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists later in the season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one candidate who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.

The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2017 Women’s College World Series®.

McCarthy and Longwood open their 2017 home slate with a three-game series against Hofstra. That series will open with a doubleheader Saturday, March 4, beginning at 12 p.m.

Softball Candidates
Ali Aguilar, Washington                                               Sydney Littlejohn, Alabama
Maryssa Becker, Louisville                                         Sam Macken, Minnesota
Dylan Christensen, DePaul                                          Elizabeth McCarthy, Longwood
Christina Clermont, Long Beach                                  Lauren Moore, UNCW
Kasey Cooper, Auburn                                               Madyson Moran, James Madison
Savannah Jo Dorsey, Ohio                                         Taylor Nowlin, Grand Canyon
Hannah Flippen, Utah                                                  Jayne Oberforf, Marist
Taylor Glover, CSUN                                                   Chandra Parr, Evansville
Delanie Gourley, Florida                                              Daphne Pofek, CSUN
Sara Groenewegen, Minnesota                                  Alex Powers, Florida State
Kylee Hanson, Florida Atlantic                                    Delaney Spaulding, UCLA
Shaye Harre, Southern Illinois                                     Kristen Turner, Iona
MJ Knighten, Nebraska                                               Brittney Vansway, Utah Valley
Vicky Lattanzio, Lehigh                                               Camree Wartman, Grand Canyon
Brittany Lewis, Stephen F. Austin                              Morgan Zerkle, Marshall

Elizabeth McCarthy