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: Katera Eltsosie
School: Volcano Vista (Albuquerque, N.M.)
Athletic achievement: Eltsosie led the Hawks (30-1) to the Class 5A state championship this past season. She posted a 16-0 record with a 1.51 ERA in the circle, and batted .496 with 12 home runs and 55 RBI at the plate. Eltsosie was named the District Player of the Year and the Albuquerque Journal Player of the Year.
Academic excellence: Eltsosie has maintained a 3.54 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: She has volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics and fundraising to benefit a homeless shelter.
“As a pitcher, Eltsosie puts phenomenal spin on her ball,” said Paul Kohman, head coach at rival Rio Rancho (N.M.). “She’s also the best hitter on that team. She’s a total, total player.”
THE FUTURE: Eltsosie has signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball on scholarship at Lubbock Christian University this fall.