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Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Updated: August 25, 5:59 PM ET
Gatorade Missouri 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 third baseman COURTNEY CONLEY of EUREKA HIGH as its 2007-2008 Missouri Softball Player of the Year.

The 5-foot-8 junior third baseman produced a .607 batting average, 42 RBI, 41 runs scored and nine home runs this past season, leading the Wildcats (19-8) to the Class 4A, District 3 final. The Metro Player of the Year as named by the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch and a Class 4A First Team All-State selection, Conley compiled a 1.262 slugging percentage and .673 on-base percentage.

Conley has maintained a 3.64 GPA in the classroom. She volunteers on behalf of multiple community-service initiatives, assisting with a Special Olympics softball team, collecting funds for needy families during the holiday season, making Easter baskets for underprivileged children and participating in the local edition of the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure, which raises funds nationally for breast cancer research.

"She's a fierce competitor with tremendous power and a great batting eye," said Joe Salsman, head coach of rival Seckman High. "She has the strongest arm I've ever seen, and there's no one even close to her as a hitter. She gets better every year. I'm scared to think what she's going to be like next year."

Conley has verbally committed to a softball scholarship at the University of Alabama for the fall of 2009.