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: Heather Bowen
School: Centennial (Las Vegas, Nev.)
Athletic achievement: Bowen led the Bulldogs (34-8) to the Class 4A state championship this past season. She batted .480 with 60 runs scored, 54 RBI and a school-record 16 home runs. Bowen is a First Team All-State selection and the Las Vegas Review-Journal Class 4A Player of the Year.
Academic excellence: Bowen has maintained a 3.81 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: She has volunteered locally feeding the homeless and as a youth softball instructor.
“You have to give Bowen a tremendous amount of respect when she’s at the plate,” said Jon Wunder, head coach at Reed (Sparks, Nev.). “Her sheer numbers are amazing. Defensively, she’s very strong too, with a cannon for an arm.”
THE FUTURE: Bowen will begin her junior year of high school this fall.