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: Darcy Taylor
School: Jenks (Okla.)
Athletic achievement: Taylor posted a 28-5 record in the circle along with a 1.93 ERA and 160 strikeouts in 199 innings this past season, leading the Trojans (36-5) to the Class 6A state tournament. The 2011 Tulsa World Softball Player of the Year, she also batted .504 with 17 home runs, 64 RBI and a 1.133 slugging percentage.
Academic excellence: Taylor has maintained a 3.71 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: An officer in her school’s student council, she has volunteered locally on behalf of a food bank and as part of fundraising efforts to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure cancer research.
“Darcy Taylor is one of the best high school players that I have seen in many years,” said Matt Cloud, head coach at Tahlequah (Okla.). “She is probably the most powerful hitter I have seen and her physical prowess absolutely intimidates opposing pitchers. She hits the ball farther than a lot of high school boys.”
THE FUTURE: Taylor has signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball on an athletic scholarship at the University of Arizona this fall.