A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade Softball Player of the Year selection process, resulting in this winner based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011-12 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.
For her 48 fellow Gatorade State Softball Player of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Allison Stewart
School: Olathe East (Olathe, Kan.)
Athletic achievement: Stewart led the Hawks (24-1) to the Class 6A state championship this past season. She batted .532 with five home runs, a school-record 52 RBI and a slugging percentage of .873. In the circle, the First Team All-Sunflower League selection posted a 13-0 record with a 0.20 ERA and 118 strikeouts in 69.1 innings pitched. She allowed 28 hits, issued nine walks and recorded two no-hitters.
Academic excellence: Stewart has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A member of the Olathe East 21st Century Leadership Program, she has volunteered locally at a homeless shelter and food bank, as a youth mentor and as a youth softball coach.
“Allison Stewart has the mental toughness that allows her to perform and deal with pressure every single pitch defensively and turn around on the offensive side and perform at the plate,” said Jan Kushner, head coach of rival Shawnee Mission North (Shawnee Mission, Kan.). “This year, she was phenomenal.”
THE FUTURE: Stewart has made a verbal commitment to attend the University of Arkansas on an athletic scholarship beginning in the fall of 2014.