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Eye on POY: Indiana softball

The window on the Gatorade State Softball Player of the Year race is closing, and the search for elite student-athletes is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our ESPNHS team that administers the program’s selection process.

Brooke Boetjer

Senior Pitcher, South Putnam High (Greencastle, IN)

2012 Team record: 28-0

2012 Team standing: Top-ranked team in Class 2A

2012 Batting average: .545

2012 RBI: 36

2012 Runs: 24

2012 W-L record: 19-0

2012 ERA: 0.12

2012 Strikeouts: 142

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: Indiana

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Miss Softball finalist; First Team All-State; Team has 53-game winning streak.

Alex Kotter

Senior Shortstop, Lincoln Vincennes High (Vincennes, IN)

2012 Team record: 11-16

2012 Team standing: Lost in sectional playoffs

2012 Batting average: .681

2012 RBI: 20

2012 Runs: 24

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: Butler

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Miss Softball finalist; First Team All-State; Holds state-record .629 career batting average.

Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Softball Player of the Year race isn’t over yet. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list. Here are some more of many who’ve been in the conversation throughout the 2011-12 campaign.

Nichole Steinbach: Senior Pitcher, Andrean High (Merrillville, IN)

Kendra Lynch: Junior Pitcher, Roncalli High (Indianapolis, IN)

Brittany Gray: Sophomore Pitcher, Greenwood Community High (Greenwood, IN)

Hannah Robbins: Junior Pitcher, Woodlan High (Woodburn, IN)

Kelsey Dotson: Senior Catcher, Warsaw Community High (Warsaw, IN)

Haley Chambers: Senior Pitcher, Cascade High (Clayton, IN)

Shelby Hursh: Junior Pitcher, Tipton High (Tipton, IN)

Think we're missing a deserving Gatorade State Player of the Year candidate in your state? Let us know via e-mail at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com.