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: Carley Hoover
School: D.W. Daniel (Central, S.C.)
Position: Right-handed pitcher
Athletic achievement: Hoover posted a 16-4 record in 138.2 innings this past season, compiling a 0.50 ERA, 296 strikeouts and leading the Lions (25-7) to the Class 3A finals. An All-State selection and the High School Sports Report Class 3A co-Player of the Year, she also batted .475 with seven home runs and 34 runs scored. Hoover walked a state-record 59 times.
Academic excellence: Hoover has maintained a 3.69 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: President-elect of her class, she has volunteered locally delivering food to the needy and coaching youth softball players.
“She’s one of the best pitchers I’ve seen play the game,” said Bobby Sowell, head coach at Hartsville (S.C.). “Her velocity is at the top of the scale for a softball player, regardless of age. Her pitches have very good movement and she seems to always pitch ahead in the count.”
THE FUTURE: Hoover has verbally committed to play softball on scholarship at Stanford University beginning in the fall of 2013.