High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Shannon Smith

Massachusetts Softball POY: Shannon Smith

June, 6, 2012
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: Shannon Smith


School: Milford (Mass.)
Grade: Junior
Position: RHP/1B
Height: 5-foot-8


Athletic achievement: Smith led the Scarlet Hawks to a 20-0 record entering the Division I Central Division quarterfinals, scheduled for June 4. The state’s returning Gatorade Softball Player of the Year, she owned a 19-0 record with a 0.11 ERA and 286 strikeouts against just 19 walks in 130 innings pitched through 20 games. Also a first baseman, Smith batted .460 with seven home runs and 33 RBI, producing a .905 slugging percentage and .579 on-base percentage.

Academic excellence: Smith has maintained a 3.60 GPA in the classroom and serves as her school’s junior class secretary.

Exemplary character: In addition to donating her time as a youth softball instructor, she has volunteered on behalf of her church’s youth group and the Special Olympics.

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Eye on POY: Massachusetts softball

June, 1, 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.

Meghan Rico
Senior right-handed pitcher, King Philip (Wrentham, Mass.)

2012 Team record: 18-2 (Division 1)
2012 Team standing: Division 1 South first round vs. Wachusett on Monday

2012 Batting average: .350
2012 RBI: 8
2012 Runs: 8

2012 W-L record: 14-2
2012 ERA: 0.63
2012 Strikeouts: 209

Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: George Washington University

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Recorded 1.9 strikeouts per inning in the regular season. 2011 Miss Softball as named by ESPN Boston. 2011 Boston Globe All-Scholastic Division I Player of the Year (Eastern Mass.). 2011 Hockomock League Most Valuable Player. 2010 and 2011 Division 1 state champion.

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