<
>

Eye on POY: Alabama softball

6/1/2012

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.

Kasey Cooper

Junior Pitcher, Dothan High (Dothan, AL)

2012 Team record: 41-17

2012 Team standing: Finished third in Class 6A

2012 Batting average: .599

2012 RBI: 58

2012 Runs: 72

2012 W-L record: 28-11

2012 ERA: 0.99

2012 Strikeouts: 344

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: Auburn (verbal)

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Super All-State Team; All-State Tournament team; Tied state single season record with 106 hits.

Haylie McCleney

Senior Center Fielder, Mortimer Jordan High (Kimberly, AL)

2012 Team record: 25-18

2012 Team standing: Finished second in Class 5A

2012 Batting average: .692

2012 RBI: 28

2012 Runs: 64

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: Alabama

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Stole 65 bases in 66 attempts; All-State Tournament Team; Super All-State Team; Set state single-season record for batting average.

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.

Peyton Grantham: Junior Shortstop, Daphne High (Daphne, AL)

Marcy Harper: Senior Pitcher, Hoover High (Hoover, AL)

Cara Goodwin: Junior Pitcher, Good Hope High (Cullman, AL)

Janna Korak: Sophomore Outfielder/Pitcher, Sparkman High (Harvest, AL)

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.