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: Bianka Bell
School: Chamberlain (Tampa, Fla.)
Athletic achievement: Bell led the Chiefs (27-5) to the Class 7A state championship this past season. She batted .731 with 11 home runs, 52 runs scored, 35 RBI and a 1.366 slugging percentage. The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times Player of the Year, Bell batted .727 in the postseason with four home runs, 19 runs scored and 12 RBI in seven games -- all while playing with her right eye swollen shut after an on-field collision late in the regular season.
Academic excellence: Bell has maintained a 4.35 weighted GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A member of the Chamberlain High Art Club and her local Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter, she helped organize a softball camp with the proceeds benefitting the family of a child with leukemia.
“Hands down, Bianka Bell is the best hitter I’ve ever seen at the high school level,” said Doug Powell, head coach of rival Braden River (Bradenton, Fla.). “She’s also a very solid defensive player as well. She carried her team to a great season.”
THE FUTURE: Bell has signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball on scholarship at LSU this fall.