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: Alicia Armstrong
School: Beatrice (Neb.)
Athletic achievement: Armstrong finished with a state-record .690 batting average this past season along with six home runs, 46 runs scored, 27 RBI and 32 stolen bases, leading the Lady Orange (25-7) to the Class B state final. Captain of the Lincoln Journal Star Super-State team, she was also a member of the Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska Team. Armstrong owns or shares six state records, including highest career batting average (.514).
Academic excellence: Armstrong has maintained a 3.94 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: President of her senior class, she has volunteered locally on behalf of youth sports programs and blood-donation drives.
“Armstrong is the kind of special athlete who doesn’t come around very often,” said Shawn Carr, head coach at Crete (Neb.). “If she doesn’t hit the ball to the wall for extra bases, she can just steal second base every time. Defensively, she played shortstop as well as anyone I’ve seen.”
THE FUTURE: Armstrong has signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball on scholarship at the University of Nebraska this fall.