Established by the Gator Boosters, Inc., and the University of Florida Athletic Association, the award honors the top male and female student-athletes at the University of Florida and is named after Ben Hill Griffin and his family, who have been long time avid supporters and fans of Gator athletics. The Ben Hill Griffin award is based primarily on the athletic achievement; academic achievement and extra-curricular involvement is also considered.
Bruder led the Gators to the 2011 NCAA Women’s College World Series, where the team played for a national championship last season. Bruder was also named the SEC Player of the Year. She becomes the second softball player to earn the Ben Hill Griffin Award after Stacey Nelson in 2009.
Bruder, now the assistant softball coach at Murray State University, was most recently honored Jan. 13 as a 2012 NCAA Top VII Award recipient. Given annually to just eight NCAA student-athletes. She additionally picked up the 2011 Honda Sports Award, designating her as the nation’s top collegiate female athlete in the sport.
A December 2011 UF graduate with a GPA of 3.7and a bachelor’s degree in Health Education and Behavior. Named to the 2011 WCWS All-Tournament, Bruder is a two-time All-American and Academic All-American.
A two-time 2011 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week, Bruder was the fifth overall pick in the 2011 National Pro Fastpitch Senior Draft by the USSSA Florida Pride and has continued her career professionally.
About USSSA Florida Pride:
The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad.
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball since 2002.
The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), headquartered in Osceola County, Florida, USSSA is the World’s Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA News!