The Collegiate Women Sports Awards Selects GSW’s Willis for NCAA DII Athlete of the Year Finalist
Published 1:51 pm Monday, June 5, 2023
From Staff Reports
AMERICUS – Zoe Willis, a junior infielder/pitcher from Georgia Southwestern State University, has been named the DII Honda Athlete of the Year finalist for softball as announced today by Executive Director Chris Voelz of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) presented by Honda.
Willis is now designated one of 11 finalists for the prestigious DII Honda Athlete of the Year. This will be voted on at the end of the academic year by national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of THE CWSA program, now in its 47th year.
“I am beyond proud to represent Georgia Southwestern and I want to thank my entire support system from my coaches to my teammates and especially my mom”, stated Willis.
Hailing from Pine Mountain, GA., Willis was recently named the 2023 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) DII Player of the Year and earned the 2023 D2 Conference Commissioners Association Ron Lenz National Player of the Year award. In addition, she became the first player in GSW history to earn back-to-back Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year honors.
Named a First Team All-American by the NFCA, she hit .447 with 25 home runs and 67 RBIs on the year. Her 25 home runs led the nation and were a new single-season school and conference mark. The second baseman finished in the top five in five different NCAA hitting categories. She also led the Peach Belt Conference in total bases with 151.
In the circle, she finished 14-3 with a 2.54 ERA posting 99 strikeouts in 104 2/3 innings.
“Zoe is one of a kind,” stated head coach Nicki Levering. “Her work ethic is impeccable. Her desire to win, and be the best, makes everyone around her better, including me. I’m so proud of her accomplishments and honored to be able to coach her.”
All Honda Sports nominees from DII and DIII become a finalist for the prestigious 2023 Honda Athlete of the Year in their respective divisions, presented in a live telecast on CBS Sports Network on June 26, 2023, at 5:30 PM ET/8:30 PM PT, in Los Angeles. The Honda Award finalists are recognized in 11 DII and DIII NCAA-sanctioned sports; cross country, basketball, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, volleyball, and track & field.
The CWSA, entering its 47th year, has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for their superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its partnership in 1986, Honda has provided more than $3.4 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs.
About Honda Corporate Social Responsibility
For more than 60 years in the U.S., Honda has been committed to making positive contributions to the communities where its associates live and work. Honda’s mission is to create products and services that improve the lives of people while conducting its business in a sustainable manner and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace. Accordingly, Honda believes in helping people reach their life’s potential through its focus on the areas of education, the environment, mobility, traffic safety and community. Learn more at http://csr.honda.com/.