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ESPN’s Beth Mowins Honored by NFCA

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ESPN play-by-play talent Beth Mowins is the recipient of the NFCA’s Melinda Fischer Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes a person who has shown exceptional commitment and dedication to the NFCA and the sport of fastpitch softball

A veteran and pioneer in the world of play-by-play broadcasting, Mowins has been a regular fixture in the softball broadcast booth long before the college game skyrocketed in popularity. She’s been calling the Women’s College World Series for 30 years. Over that time, her distinctive voice has provided the soundtrack for numerous game-winning hits, stellar defensive plays, and record-breaking accomplishments. Her trademark sayings and encyclopedic knowledge have been enjoyed by generations of fans.

“Beth Mowins, the voice of softball for decades, has given selflessly of her time and talents to help grow the game of softball,” said NFCA Executive Director Carol Bruggeman, who presented Mowins with her award on Friday at the WCWS in Oklahoma City. “Under her visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to excellence from the broadcast booth, Beth has provided softball fans everywhere a front row seat to the excitement of postseason softball. We are so appreciative of her contributions, as she has amplified the sport on our biggest stage, helped make the event what it is today, and continues to assist in the growth and awareness of softball.”

The award is named in honor of Illinois State head coach Melinda Fischer. Past recipients include Executive Director of the Greater Columbus Georgia Sports and Events Council Merri Sherman (‘23), ESPN colleague Senior Vice President of Production Meg Aronowitz (’18), former Executive Director of the National Junior College Athletic Association Mary Ellen Leicht (’16), former NCAA Secretary-Rules Editor and NFCA Hall of Famer Dee Abrahamson (’07), and NFCA Hall of Famer Fischer (’02).

Mowins, whose primary assignments are men’s and women’s college sports, is a staple on ESPN’s regular-season men’s and women’s basketball broadcasts and has called NCAA championships in basketball, softball, soccer and volleyball. In 2017, she was the first woman in 30 years to call a National Football League game, teaming up with Rex Ryan to call the Los Angeles Chargers vs. Denver Broncos as part of a Monday Night Football doubleheader. She was also part of ESPN’s coverage of the 2011 Women’s World Cup in Germany.

In 2015, Mowin’s alma mater Syracuse University honored her with the Marty Glickman Award for leadership in sports media, joining the likes of Bob Costas, Marv Albert and Sean McDonough. A year prior in 2014, she accepted the CoSIDA Jake Wade Award for outstanding media contributions covering collegiate athletics, joining previous honorees Robin Roberts and Christine Brennan. Mowins is also a member of the Greater Syracuse Hall of Fame.