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Eye on POY: New Mexico softball

6/2/2012

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.

Katera Eltsosie

Senior Pitcher/Third Baseman, Volcano Vista High (Albuquerque, NM)

2012 Team record: 30-1

2012 Team standing: Won Class 5A state title

2012 Batting average: .496

2012 RBI: 55

2012 Runs: 52

2012 W-L record: 16-0

2012 ERA: 1.51

2012 Strikeouts: 131

Academics: A-minus average

Collegiate destination: Lubbock Christian

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: District Player of the Year; Albuquerque Journal Player of the Year; First Team All-State; All-Metro; Hit 12 home runs.

Kelsey Stevens

Senior Pitcher/First Baseman, Volcano Vista High (Albuquerque, NM)

2012 Team record: 30-1

2012 Team standing: Won Class 5A state title

2012 Batting average: .448

2012 RBI: 27

2012 Runs: 20

2012 W-L record: 13-1

2012 ERA: 1.19

2012 Strikeouts: 166

Academics: A-plus average

Collegiate destination: Stanford

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Recorded five saves; First Team All-State; All-Metro; All-District.

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.

Jasmine Casados: Junior Shortstop, La Cueva High (Albuquerque, NM)

Nicole Pendley: Sophomore Outfielder, Rio Rancho High (Rio Rancho, NM)

Emma Adams: Senior Outfielder, Cibola High (Albuquerque, NM)

Courtney Williams: Junior Center Fielder, Carlsbad High (Carslbad, NM)

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.