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Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Updated: August 25, 5:57 PM ET
Gatorade Kansas Softball POY

ESPNRISE.com

In its third decade of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, Gatorade joined with RISE Magazine to name junior pitcher PAIGE LADENBURGER of WASHBURN RURAL HIGH as its 2007-2008 Kansas Softball Player of the Year..

The junior pitcher finished 16-0 with a 0.22 ERA, recording 154 strikeouts in 95.1 innings this season to lead the Lady Blues (23-2) to the Class 6A state championship. The Centennial League Player of the Year and a returning First Team All-State selection, Ladenburger produced a .370 batting average, 10 runs scored and seven RBI this spring.

Ladenburger has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom. The president of the local Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter, she volunteers on behalf of multiple community-service initiatives, having traveled on a mission trip to Mexico in addition to donating her time to the Special Olympics, leading a local Walk for the Cure fundraiser, participating in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life and mentoring youth athletes as an instructor and counselor at summer basketball and softball camps.



"The only reason she's overpowering is because she's so effective with her pitches," said Aryn McCoy, head coach at rival Topeka High. "You can't touch her because she has so many effective pitches. If she was dealing fastballs all day long, it would be a different story. She's got a drop, a rise, a curve, a slider, she's got everything. She keeps you off-balance."

Ladenburger will begin her senior year of high school this fall and remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.