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.
Junior Shortstop, Valley High (Gilcrest, CO)
2012 Team record: 24-1
2012 Team standing: Won Class 3A state title
2012 Batting average: .584
2012 RBI: 43
2012 Runs: 55
Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Colorado State (verbal)
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Denver Post All-Colorado Team; First Team All-State; MVP of Class 3A state tournament.
Senior Pitcher, Legacy High (Broomfield, CO)
2012 Team record: 24-2
2012 Team standing: Won Class 5A state title
2012 Batting average: .591
2012 RBI: 48
2012 Runs: 46
2012 W-L record: 22-2
2012 ERA: 1.74
2012 Strikeouts: 123
Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: Tennessee
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Denver Post All-Colorado Player of the Year; MVP of the Class 5A state tournament; First Team All-State.
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.
Elle Madsen: Senior Pitcher, Wheat Ridge High (Wheat Ridge, CO)
Jessica Ball: Senior Shortstop, Legacy High (Broomfield, CO)
Paxton Duran: Senior Pitcher, Brighton High (Brighton, CO)
Keely Gray: Junior Pitcher, Faith Christian Academy (Arvada, CO)
Alli McCloskey: Junior Outfielder, Rock Canyon High (Littleton, CO)
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.