BME Grad selected as CWRU’s Nominee for NCAA Woman of the Year Award

Illissa Hamilton pitching softball

Case Western Reserve University senior Ilissa Hamilton of the softball team has been selected as the school's nominee for the 2020 NCAA Division III Woman of the Year Award.

Rooted in Title IX and directed by the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics, the NCAA Woman of the Year program celebrates the accomplishments of female college athletes across all three NCAA divisions. In 2020, nearly 220,000 women are competing in college sports, and the NCAA received a program record of 605 nominations for this prestigious award.

Hamilton, a three-time All-UAA selection, led the team with a 2.63 earned run average as she only allowed 12 earned runs in 32 innings pitched in her third year as a Spartan. She ranked first on the team with 27 strikeouts and posted a 3-1 record in five starts. Hamilton also totaled a team-high four complete games. In addition to her work on the mound, Hamilton batted .217 (5-for-23) with one double, six RBI's and eight runs scored.

In just three years as a Spartan, Hamilton ranks fourth in school history with 326 strikeouts, sixth in wins with 37 and seventh in innings pitched with 338.1.

In addition, Hamilton played a major role during the team's historic 2018 campaign as she set the single-season program record for both wins and strikeouts. Hamilton's 21 wins and 184 strikeouts throughout the season surpassed former Spartan Rebecca Taylor in both categories.

Academically, Hamilton has recorded a 4.00 grade point average as a Biomedical Engineering major. Last month, she was selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team. With the honor, she became the first Spartan in the program's history to have Academic All-America selections in multiple years. Hamilton was an Academic All-America Second Team selection in 2019 as well.

School nominees are sent to the conference offices to select their conference nominees for NCAA Woman of the Year. Each conference nominee will be notified by the NCAA, and all conference-round nominees will be announced on in August.

Conference nominations are forwarded to the NCAA Woman of the Year Selection Committee, which identifies the top 10 honorees in each of the three NCAA divisions. From those 30 candidates, the selection committee then determines the three finalists in each division for a total of nine finalists.

The Committee on Women's Athletics will select the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year from the nine finalists. The 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced this fall.

(Originally posted 7/15/2020 by CWRU Athletics)