Fourteen-time all-American Suzy Favor, the winningest woman in NCAA track and field history, was named the first recipient of the Babe Zaharias Female Athlete of the Year Award.

Favor is a senior who competes in both indoor and outdoor track for Wisconsin.

Runners-up were Leigh Ann Fetter of Louisville, a swimmer for Texas; Carlette Guidry of Houston, a track and field star at Texas, and Vicki Huber of Bryn Mawr, Pa., a track a field star at Villanova.

Favor, of Stevens Point, Wis., accepted the award at the Beaumont (Tex.) Civic Center. She is a graphic arts major who has won nine NCAA championships, setting records in the 1990 national outdoor meet in the 1,500 and 800 meters. . . .

Independence Bowl officials still hope for a technical sellout, even though there's a possibility of about 10,000 no-shows for the Dec. 15 game between Maryland and Louisiana Tech.

"A sellout we should have," Independence Bowl Executive Director Pat Tiller said. "In the stands, no. You've got about 10,000 not coming from Maryland. We could be looking at about 40,000 in the stands."

As a condition for being invited, both schools must agree to buy 15,000 tickets. The bowl committee is expected to sell 20,000 seats locally. Independence Stadium (Shreveport, La.) seats 50,459.

Maryland ticket manager Jack Zane said ticket sales at his school have increased the past few days as many alumni have responded to a mailer promoting the game. . . .

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Ray Perkins has talked with Mississippi State officials about the Bulldogs' vacant coaching job.

Athletic Director Larry Templeton confirmed that he has talked with Perkins, a native of Mount Olive, Miss., and the former head coach at Alabama.