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: Kayla Bonstrom
School: Canyon del Oro (Oro Valley, Ariz.)
Athletic achievement: Bonstrom led the Dorados (33-5) to the Division II state championship this past season. She batted .603 with 16 home runs, 71 runs scored, 63 RBI and a 1.293 slugging percentage. In the circle, the 2012 Division II Coaches High School Softball Player of the Year posted a 17-3 record with a 3.12 ERA and 128 strikeouts in 130 innings pitched. She won three state championships in four years and concluded her prep softball career with a .535 batting average and 34 home runs.
Academic excellence: Bonstrom has maintained a 4.35 weighted GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A member of the Mu Alpha Theta mathematics honor society and the Canyon del Oro Science Olympiad team, she has volunteered locally as a youth softball coach and mentor.
“Kayla was the difference on both sides of the ball for Canyon del Oro,” said Randy Anway, head coach of rival Ironwood Ridge (Tucson, Ariz.). “She is not a dominant pitcher but she competes on every pitch. And she is a very good hitter.”
THE FUTURE: Bonstrom has signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball on scholarship at Stanford University this fall.