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Eye on POY: Idaho softball

6/4/2012

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.

Cortni Pena

Senior right-handed pitcher, Meridian (Idaho)

2012 Team record: 22-6 (Class 5A)

2012 Team standing: Class 5A state tournament fifth place

2012 Batting average: .471

2012 RBI: 39

2012 Runs: 30

2012 W-L record: 22-6

2012 ERA: 1.13

2012 Strikeouts: 343

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: College of Idaho

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Handed Lake City (Coeur d'Alene, Idaho) its first loss in 32 games. Recorded 1.79 strikeouts per inning, produced an 8.37-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and owned a 0.76 WHIP. 2012 Class 5A Southern Idaho Conference Player of the Year. Four-time First Team Class 5A All-SIC selection.

Casey Stangel

Grade position/positions, School (City, State)

2012 Team record: 22-2 (Class 5A)

2012 Team standing: Class 5A runners-up

2012 Batting average: .558

2012 RBI: 59

2012 Runs: 43

2012 W-L record: 22-2

2012 ERA: 0.37

2012 Strikeouts: 218

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: University of Missouri (verbal)

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Produced a 1.117 slugging percentage and .606 on-base percentage. Averaged 0.77 RBI per at-bat. 2010-11 Gatorade Idaho Softball Player of the Year. 2012 Idaho Sports Hall of Fame Softball Player of the Year. Three-time Inland Empire League Most Valuable Player. 2011 Class 5A state champion. 2011 Class 5A state tournament MVP.

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.

Kayla Anderson: Senior shortstop, Centennial (Boise, Idaho)

Erica Dick: Junior pitcher/infielder, Boise (Idaho)

Taurie Pogue: Sophomore shortstop, Mountain View (Meridian, Idaho)

Lindsey Scholwinski: Junior pitcher, Coeur d'Alene (Idaho)

Destiny Turner: Junior catcher/infielder, Mountain View (Meridian, Idaho)

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.