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.
Sophomore Pitcher, Truman High (Independence, MO)
2012 Team record: 22-8
2012 Team standing: Lost to Liberty in first round of 4A state tournament
2012 Batting average: .469
2012 RBI: 23
2012 Runs: 28
2012 W-L record: 20-5
2012 ERA: 0.85
2012 Strikeouts: 298
Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Oklahoma (verbal)
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: First Team All-State; First Team All-Metro; First Team All-Region.
Senior Pitcher, Liberty High (Liberty, MO)
2012 Team record: 26-3
2012 Team standing: Lost to Blue Springs in quarterfinals of 4A state tournament
2012 Batting average: .472
2012 RBI: 31
2012 Runs: 15
2012 W-L record: 18-2
2012 ERA: 0.73
2012 Strikeouts: 210
Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: Oklahoma State
How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Kansas City Metro Player of the Year; First Team All-State; First Team All-Conference.
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.
Emily Crane: Senior Shortstop, Troy Buchanan High (Troy, MO)
Kelsey Kessler: Senior Pitcher, Blue Springs High (Blue Springs, MO)
Kelsey Schifferdecker: Senior Pitcher, Belton High (Belton, MO)
Baylee Douglass: Sophomore Pitcher, Centralia High (Centralia, MO)
Brianna Lore: Senior Pitcher, Sullivan High (Sullivan, MO)
Elizabeth Wiegand: Junior Pitcher, Troy Buchanan High (Troy, MO)
Marley Harmon: Junior Catcher, Reeds Spring High (Reeds Spring, MO)
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.