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Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Wisconsin Softball POY: Kristen Wood

By Ben Rohrbach

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: Kristen Wood

THE BASICS

School: Wilmot Union (Wilmot, Wis.)
Grade: Senior
Position: RHP/1B
Height: 6-foot

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Wood led the Panthers to a 21-3 record entering the Division 1 sectional semifinals, scheduled for June 4. A two-time returning First Team All-State selection as named by the Wisconsin Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association, she owned a 21-3 record with a 0.85 ERA and 286 strikeouts in 149 innings pitched through 24 games. Also a first baseman, Wood batted .462 with six home runs and 35 RBI, producing a .782 slugging percentage and .512 on-base percentage entering the sectional semis.

Academic excellence: Wood has maintained a 3.40 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: In addition to donating her time as a youth softball instructor and umpire, she has volunteered locally at a no-kill animal shelter, on behalf of her church and as part of multiple fundraisers for both cancer and diabetes research.

THE PRAISE

“She has been by far one of the best pitchers I have ever seen in the area, state and country,” said Hank Johnson, head coach at rival Delavan-Darien (Delavan, Wis.). “She has multiple pitches that she can consistently throw for strikes. Kristen is also one of the best hitters in our league, which makes her a complete player. She has recorded a lot of wins over the years and has demonstrated great character in never showing up her opponents while on the field.”

THE FUTURE: Wood has signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball on scholarship at Northwestern University this fall.