Reigning National Player of the Year Lauren Haeger and all-time NCAA home run queen Lauren Chamberlain have both been nominated for ESPY awards.
Chamberlain earned a nomination in the Best Record Breaking Performance category, thanks to her 91st career home run that put her in sole possession of 1st place all-time in NCAA history. Her competition for the award are Devin Hester of the Atlanta Falcons' punt return for touchdown record; Peyton Manning's 509th career touchdown pass; and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors' record for most points in a quarter.
Haeger was nominated in two categories, Best Championship Performance and Best Female College Athlete. Her competition in the former category includes two Sports Illustrated cover athletes and an equine. Madison Bumgarner of the San Francisco Giants; Lebron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers; and American Pharoah, Triple Crown winner, are the other candidates for Best Championship Performance.
In the category of Best Female College Athlete, Haeger is nominated along with four others: Taylor Cummings of Maryland lacrosse; Missy Franklin, Olympic gold medal winner of Cal Berkeley swimming; Micha Hancock of Penn State volleyball; and Breanna Stewart of UConn basketball.
Fan voting for the awards is now open - follow this link to complete a full ballot, or click on the respective categories to cast your vote for these two ambassadors of our sport.
Worthy of note - and you might as well pull out my soapbox - is not only was no softball player nominated for Best Female Athlete (for more-than-worthy candidates, please see Haeger, Chamberlain, or Osterman, Cat), but there continues to be no representation for the game of softball outside of a nomination here and there year-to-year.
There are categories for Best Female Golfer; Best Female Tennis Player; and Best WNBA Player, as well as Best Bowler; Best Jockey; Best Driver; Best Fighter; and Best MLS Player, but no softball. Unfortunately, I've grown used to this kind of thing, as have many others, to be sure, but that doesn't make it right.