SAN ANTONIO — UCLA's Lisa Fernandez was honored Monday night for her spectacular softball career when she was announced as the 1993 collegiate female athlete of the year.
Fernandez, a four-time All-American and conceivably the best female collegiate softball player ever, received the Honda-Broderick Cup at the 17th annual women's awards dinner, held in conjunction with the NCAA convention.
She beat out 10 other candidates who had been voted tops in the country in their respective sports: Dee Foster of Alabama in gymnastics, Mia Hamm of North Carolina in soccer, Holly Hyche of Indiana State in track and field, Kelli James of Old Dominion in field hockey, Janel Jorgensen of Stanford in swimming, Lisa Raymond of Florida in tennis, Charlotta Sorenstam of Texas in golf, Sheryl Swoopes of Texas Tech in basketball, Natalie Williams of UCLA in volleyball and Carole Zajac of Villanova in cross-country.
Others honored at the dinner, attended by an estimated 1,300, were Division II winner Christie Allen, a distance runner at Pittsburg (Kan.) State, and Division III winner Jennifer Carter, a swimmer at Kenyon (Ohio) College. The annual inspiration award winner was Jennifer Mead of Providence College, who recovered from surgery on a congenital heart defect to compete in both basketball and soccer.
Statistically, Fernandez is among the "Who's Who" of college softball. Among other things, she is the first to lead the nation in both hitting, with a .510 batting average, and earned-run average, 0.25. She did that last season, when she was 33-3 and had six no-hitters, while also collecting 12 doubles, 11 home runs and 45 runs batted in. During Fernandez's four years at UCLA, she had a 93-7 record and led her team to two NCAA titles and two second-place finishes.