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.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher, National Cathedral School (Washington, D.C.)
2012 Team record: 12-5 (ISL A)
2012 Team standing: Independent School League Class A champions; lost Best of D.C. Tournament championship game to Georgetown Visitation (Washington, D.C.), 2-1
2012 Batting average: .491
2012 RBI: 28
2012 Runs: 23
2012 W-L record: 11-4
2012 ERA: 1.61
2012 Strikeouts: 154
Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: School Name (commitment)
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Recorded 1.8 strikeouts per inning, produced a 6.5-to-1 K-to-BB ratio and allowed just 0.9 baserunners per inning on the mound. Collected a .772 slugging percentage and .508 on-base percentage. Generated 0.49 RBI per at-bat. 2012 D.C. Softball Classic All-Star Game selection. 2012 All-Independent School League Class A selection.
Junior third baseman/shortstop, St. John's College (Washington, D.C.)
2012 Team record: 4-14
2012 Team standing: Finished ninth in Washington Catholic Athletic Conference
2012 Batting average: .321
2012 RBI: 12
2012 Runs: 11
Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Undecided
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Owned a .473 slugging percentage and .379 on-base percentage. Belted three game-winning hits. 2012 First Team All-Washington Catholic Athletic Conference selection. 2011 Second Team All-WCAC pick.
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.
Kinza Baad: Junior catcher, National Cathedral School (Washington, D.C.)
Caitlyn Fischer: Freshman third baseman, Georgetown Visitation (Washington, D.C.)
Juliette Lewis: Sophomore catcher, Georgetown Visitation (Washington, D.C.)
Abby Petersen: Senior shortstop, Georgetown Visitation (Washington, D.C.)
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.