Eye on POY: Delaware softball

May, 24, 2012
5/24/12
6:59
PM ET
The window on the Gatorade State Softball Player of the Year race is closing, and the search for elite student-athletes is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our ESPNHS team that administers the program’s selection process.

Kim Smith
Senior right-handed pitcher/shortstop, Sussex Tech (Georgetown, Del.)

2012 Team record: 14-4
2012 Team standing: State tournament begins Saturday

2012 Batting average: .561
2012 RBI: 10
2012 Runs: 3

2012 W-L record: 14-4
2012 ERA: 1.22
2012 Strikeouts: 142

Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: Hofstra University

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Opponents issue her a walk for every 3.0 at-bats. Owns a .765 slugging percentage and .681 on-base percentage. Played for the East squad in the 10-team Big League World Series in Kalamazoo, Mich., this past summer. 2011 First Team All-State selection as named by The News Journal.

Carolyn Szymanski
Junior right-handed pitcher, Caravel Academy (Bear, Del.)

2012 Team record: 15-3
2012 Team standing: State tournament begins Saturday

2012 W-L record: 15-3
2012 ERA: 0.59
2012 Strikeouts: 170

2012 Batting average: .433
2012 RBI: 19
2012 Runs: 20

Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: Coastal Carolina University

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Averaging 1.43 strikeouts per inning. Owns a 14.2-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Allows just 0.64 baserunners per inning. Played for the Delaware County CHAOS this past summer. 2010 and 11 First Team All-State selection as named by The News Journal. 2010 and 2011 state champion.

Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Softball Player of the Year race isn’t over yet. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list. Here are some more of many who’ve been in the conversation throughout the 2011-12 campaign.

Jen Fischbach: Senior third baseman, Caesar Rodney (Camden, Del.)
Paige Morris: Senior shortstop, Smyrna (Del.)
Kenya McVey: Senior shortstop, Hodgson Vo-Tech (Newark, Del.)
Emily Neal: Sophomore outfielder, Caravel Academy (Bear, Del.)
Caroline Phillips: Senior outfielder, Delmar (Del.)
Devon Steiner: Sophomore third baseman, Charter School of Wilmington (Del.)
Ashely Witte: Senior utility player, Hodgson Vo-Tech (Newark, Del.)

Think we're missing a deserving Gatorade State Player of the Year candidate in your state? Let us know via e-mail at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com.

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