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Bennett Nabs Rock Royer/Mac Rivera Award

April 22, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Beth Bennett, the 2009 Rock Royer/Mac Rivera award winner, with Manuel Rivera (left) and Director of Athletics Jeff Barber (right).

Beth Bennett, the 2009 Rock Royer/Mac Rivera award winner, with Manuel Rivera (left) and Director of Athletics Jeff Barber (right).

Senior softball player Beth Bennett (1B, Powhatan, Va.) was honored today at Liberty University's Convocation Service as she was named the 2009 Rock Royer/Mac Rivera Award winner, the University's highest athletics honor.

The annual award was presented to Bennett by Liberty University Director of Athletics Jeff Barber and Manuel Rivera, brother of Mac Rivera.

In 1975, the Rock Royer/Mac Rivera Award was established to honor the top senior student-athlete at Liberty University who best exemplifies the standards and lives of both of these great Christian men. Rock Royer was Liberty's first football coach in 1973. Mac Rivera was a member of Liberty's basketball team from 1972 until 1975. Both Rock Royer and Mac Rivera tragically died at a young age.

This award encompasses more than just athletic ability. It recognizes the Liberty University graduating senior student-athlete who has maintained an exemplary testimony on the playing field, in the classroom and among the student body.

Bennett will be graduating this May with a 3.19 grade-point average in kinesiology, with an emphasis as a fitness specialist. She is a two-time member of the Big South Presidential Honor Roll and has been named to the Big South All-Academic team and the University's dean's list during her four-year career.

Outside the classroom, Bennett has seen her passion for ministry grow during her time at Liberty. She has realized the Lord's calling on her life, as He has given her a heart for camp ministries. Blessed with a servant's heart, Bennett has worked with such organizations as FCA, Campus Serve, River Valley Ranch, the Discover Church and most recently, a two-week missions trip to East Asia with Liberty University's Light Ministries.

Bennett has been the cornerstone of the Lady Flames softball team's infield, starting every game of her career at first base since her freshman year in 2006. As a rookie, Bennett helped Liberty tie a program record with 41 wins, while her sophomore campaign saw the Lady Flames knock off three Top-25 teams, including former NCAA champion Michigan.

Last season, Bennett guided the Lady Flames to the title game of the Big South Softball Championship, capping off a career season where she led the squad in seven different statistical categories and was named to the Virginia All-State squad.

Bennett is once again championing Liberty's efforts on the softball diamond in her last go around in a Lady Flames' uniform. She currently leads this year's squad in batting average (.288), doubles (9), home runs (7), RBIs (20), walks (18), slugging percentage (.542) and on-base percentage (.380).

The senior's numbers against Big South competition are even higher, as Bennett is batting a team-leading .391, to go along with team-best numbers in doubles (2), home runs (2), RBIs (7), slugging percentage (.739) and on-base percentage (.500).