Oklahoma State's Chelsea Garcia, a junior on the Cowgirl's Women's College World Series softball team, was honored by the NCAA as she was named the 2011 recipient of the Elite 88 Award for Division I softball.
The Elite 88, an award founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 88 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's championships.
Eligible student-athletes are sophomores or above who have participated in their sport for at least two years with their school. They must be an active member of the team, traveling and a designated member of the squad size at the championship. All ties are broken by the number of credits completed.
Garcia, a junior who has started at shortstop every game for the past three seasons, won the award with a perfect 4.0 GPA in secondary education and mathematics.
The Moore, Okla., native leads OSU with 55 RBI and 12 home runs this year and is third on the team with a batting average of .339. She is one of just three Cowgirls to start every game this season.
Oklahoma State begins competition at the 2011 WCWS Thursday at 2:30 p.m. when the Cowgirls take on the Baylor Bears.
For more information on the Elite 88 award winners, visit www.NCAA.com/elite88.