Chamberlain Nominated for ESPY Award
NORMAN – For setting the all-time NCAA home run record, former Oklahoma softball player Lauren Chamberlain has been nominated for an ESPY Award in the Best Record Breaking Performance category, ESPN announced Wednesday.
The 2015 ESPYS, hosted by Joel McHale, will air live on ABC at 7 p.m. CT on Wednesday, July 15 at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles. Fans will have the chance to select the winners by voting at ESPN.com/ESPYS.
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).
Also nominated in the category with Chamberlain are Devin Hester of the Atlanta Falcons for setting the NFL record for most career return touchdowns, Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos for the breaking the NFL record for most career touchdown passes and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors for recording an NBA record for most points in one quarter.
Should Chamberlain win, she’d be the first college athlete to take home the honor since the award was introduced in 2001.
Chamberlain’s nomination marks the second time in the last three years that the Oklahoma softball team was nominated for an ESPY. In 2013, the Sooners were up for Best Team after winning the 2013 national championship, while Keilani Ricketts was nominated in the category of Best Female College Athlete.Prior to that, the last time Oklahoma was nominated for an ESPY came in 2009 when Sam Bradford and Blake Griffin were each in the running for Best Male College Athlete.