Chamberlain Named Top Big 12 Female Athlete
NORMAN – A record-breaking career has garnered former Oklahoma softball student-athlete Lauren Chamberlain one more award as she was named the Big 12 Female Athlete of the Year Monday by the league office.
Nominees were submitted by each Big 12 institution and selected, based on athletic performance, academic achievement and citizenship, by a media panel as well as fan voting conducted through the Big 12’s social media platforms.
With her win, Chamberlain joins Keilani Ricketts (2012-13) as the only OU softball players to win the honor since the Big 12’s inception in 1996, while former women’s basketball player Stacey Dales (2001-02) is the only other recipient of the award from the University of Oklahoma.
On April 30, Chamberlain hit a grand slam at North Texas for the 91st home run of her career to break the all-time mark of 90 held by former UCLA player Stacey Nuveman. The home run came in Chamberlain’s 212th career game and 584th at-bat. For comparison, Nuveman hit her 90 home runs in 264 games and 691 at-bats.
Chamberlain went on to hit four more home runs during the season to finish her remarkable career with 95. In addition, she set the NCAA all-time slugging percentage record with a .960 career mark.
Following the 2015 season, Chamberlain was named a first-team All-American by the NFCA, joining former Sooner Keilani Ricketts as the only four-time All-Americans in Oklahoma history, as well as the only OU players to be named to the first team three times in a career.
Chamberlain hit .399 this season with 23 home runs and tied for the team lead in runs batted in with 65. She also led the team with 62 walks and a .589 on-base percentage, adding 11 doubles, four triples and eight stolen bases while playing in 56 of 58 games.
In addition to being the all-time home run and slugging percentage leader, Chamberlain finished her career fifth all-time in Division I in runs scored (272), ninth in walks (207) and 10th in runs batted in (254).
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NPF Draft, Chamberlain was nominated for an ESPY this season for “Best Record Breaking Performance” for setting the all-time home run record and was also a finalist for the Honda Sports Award for softball.
Chamberlain claimed three Big 12 Player of the Week awards in 2015 to become the Conference leader with eight for her career. She also earned All-Big 12 First Team and All-Region First Team honors for the fourth time. She led the Sooners to the 2013 Women’s College World Series title and played in the WCWS three times in her four seasons.
She also helped OU to four consecutive Big 12 titles, a first in conference history in softball. Additionally, Oklahoma won four NCAA Regional titles and three Super Regional championships during her tenure while finishing with 211 wins in four years against 36 losses for an .854 winning percentage.
Oklahoma has had six student-athletes recognized as the Big 12 Athlete of the Year since its inception in the 1996-97 season. Along with Chamberlain, Ricketts and Dales winning Female Athlete of the Year, former OU quarterbacks Sam Bradford (2008-09), Jason White (2003-04) and Josh Heupel (2000-01) have all been named Male Athlete of the Year.