Bama Softball Star Gets NCAA Award

INDIANAPOLIS – Former Alabama four-time All-America Brittany Rogers of Dacula, Georgia, has been recognized by the NCAA for one of its top honors, the Top VIII Award, the NCAA announced on Friday.

Rogers becomes the eighth University of Alabama athlete to garner the award and the fifth in the past decade.

"I am so humbled by all this," Rogers said. "I cannot believe that I am in a category with such a prestigious group of people. This recognition truly belongs to all the people who have helped me along the way, including my family, coaches and teammates. I am so thankful to receive this award."

The Today's Top VIII award recognizes current student-athletes who have completed their athletic eligibility for their success on the fields and courts, in the classroom and in the community. Recipients will be honored in January at the NCAA Honors and Delegates Celebration at the 2010 NCAA Convention in Atlanta.

"The Top VIII award is the most prestigious award bestowed by the NCAA on a student-athlete," Alabama Director of Athletics Mal Moore said. "We're very proud of Brittany and all that she accomplished, both athletically and academically, on the way to earning this award. We are very proud of Brittany not just for earning this award, but for the overall and tremendously positive reflection that her career has been on the University of Alabama and the athletics department."

The Top VIII honorees are selected by the NCAA Honors Committee, which is composed of eight athletics administrators at member institutions and nationally distinguished citizens who are former student-athletes.

"Brittany Rogers is the epitome of what we look for in a player and in a student-athletes," Alabama head softball coach Pat Murphy said. "When I look at the list of recipient it's truly the best of the best in NCAA athletics and it's a great honor for Brittany and a great honor for our program. To have her represent all of softball as well is pretty incredible."

Joining Rogers as Top VIII honorees are Tim Tebow (Florida  - football), Amanda Blumenherst (Duke - golf), Courtney Kupets (Georgia - gymnastics), Venessa Lee (Pittsburg State - cross country and indoor and outdoor track), Jeff Lerg (Michigan State - ice hockey), Kent Raymond, (Wheaton Illinois -basketball), and Sarah Stevens (Arizona State - indoor and outdoor track).

Rogers was a staple on and off the field for the Crimson Tide softball team. The four-year starter helped Alabama register three top 10 national finishes and guided the Crimson Tide to three Women's College World Series berths, including a school record back-to-back semifinal appearances. She also helped guide Alabama to the 2006 SEC championship and three SEC Western Division titles.

She finished her career ranked first in stolen bases (198); second in batting average (.417), runs (256) and hits (343); and fifth in on-base percentage (.463). She became just the second player in school history to post at least 300 hits, score 200 runs and steal 100 bases. She was selected as an all-American by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and Easton for four straight years, becoming just the third player to nab the honors all four seasons.

Off the diamond her accolades were just as impressive. Rogers was the recipient of a 2009 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and an SEC Boyd McWhorter Postgraduate Scholarship. She was the winner of the 2009 Paul Bryant Student-Athlete Award, which is presented to the top male and top female student-athlete at Alabama.

She served as president of Alabama's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and volunteered with multiple community organizations such as Project Angel Tree, Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, Easter Seals walk and visited various local elementary and high schools.

Alabama's previous NCAA Top VIII recipients are:

Randy Hall, football, 1975; Steadman Shealy, football, 1980; Meredith Willard, gymnastics, 1997; Andreé Pickens, gymnastics, 2002; Kristin Sterner, gymnastics, 2003; DeMeco Ryans, football, 2006; and Beth Mallory, track and field, 2007.

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