Coker Named One of 10 National Finalists for 2013 Senior CLASS Award

KINGSTON, R.I. – Rhode Island's Kelly Coker was named one of 10 national candidates for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award® in collegiate softball, Premier Sports Management announced Wednesday.

The award is given to one NCAA softball student-athletes who excels both on and off the field. The finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 30 candidates announced in February. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote on the Senior CLASS Award website or on the Senior CLASS Award Facebook fan page through May 13. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches' votes to determine the winner.

This season, Coker is batting .338 with three doubles, one triple and one home run. She has hit safely in 14 of her last 15 games and is second on the team with 10 RBI. A 2012 Second-Team All-Conference selection in the Atlantic 10, Coker also was an All-Academic Team pick as a third baseman last spring. She batted .305 with seven doubles, two triples, five home runs and a team-high 33 runs batted in.

Off the field, Coker is one of the top students at the University, ranking in the top 15 percent of her class. A nursing major, she has completed clinical rotations at seven different facilities throughout the state, including Westerly Hospital, Newport Hospital, South Shore Mental Health Center, the Tavares Pediatric Center, Clinics Esperanza, Memorial Hospital Home Care and the Riverview Healthcare Community.

During the holiday season, Coker and her softball teammates wrote holiday cards for war veterans living in four different veteran's hall communities. The cards went to veterans in Gardiner, Mass., two different homes in Leominster, Mass., and one more in New Hampshire.

She also spearheaded an effort to make the holidays special for a family she never met. Coker raised funds that were used to buy Christmas presents for a single mother and her two children living in a battered women's shelter.

She and fellow senior captain Erika Szymanski organized a team effort to prepare full Thanksgiving dinner baskets for two different homeless families. They also collect canned goods each year to donate to the JohnnyCake Center, a food pantry located in Wakefield, R.I.

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.

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 – community, classroom, character and competition. The complete list of finalists follows this release.

The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2013 NCAA Women's College World Series® in Oklahoma City May 30 through June 5.

For more information on all the finalists, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.

2013 Senior CLASS Award®
Kayla Braud, Alabama
Raven Chavanne, Tennessee
Kelly Coker, Rhode Island
Rachele Fico, LSU
Jolene Henderson, California
Kelsey Horton, Florida
Courtney Liddle, Virginia Tech
Jenna Rich, Stanford
Keilani Ricketts, Oklahoma
Jessica Shults, Oklahoma