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.
Senior First Baseman, Ankeny High (Ankeny, IA)
2011 Team record: 35-8
2011 Team standing: Lost to Des Moines East in 4A state final
2011 Batting average: .582
2011 RBI: 51
2011 Home runs: 13
Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: Iowa State
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Walked 70 times with just seven strikeouts; First Team All-State; Class 4A Co-Player of the Year.
Sophomore Pitcher, Dallas Center-Grimes High (Grimes, IA)
2011 Team record: 40-6
2011 Team standing: Finished third in Class 3A state tourney
2011 Batting average: .459
2011 RBI: 30
2011 Home runs: 9
2011 W-L record: 32-5
2011 ERA: 1.09
2011 Strikeouts: 385
Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Missouri (verbal)
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Eight no-hitters; First Team All-State; Class 3A Pitcher of the Year.
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.
Riley Fisher: Senior Pitcher, Des Moines East High (Des Moines, IA)
Fran Strub: Senior Center Fielder, Clear Creek-Amana High (Tiffin, IA)
Caitlin Wnek: Senior Shortstop, Clear Creek-Amana High (Tiffin, IA)
Brandi Davis: Senior Pitcher, Akron-Westfield High (Akron, IA)
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.