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: Kim Smith
School: Sussex Tech (Georgetown, Del.)
Position: Right-handed pitcher
Athletic achievement: Smith led the Ravens to an 18-4 record and the state championship this past season. A returning First Team All-State selection as named by The News Journal, she posted an 18-4 record with a 1.25 ERA and 165 strikeouts against 26 walks in 140.1 innings pitched. Also a returning First Team All-Henlopen Conference honoree, Smith batted .554 with 11 doubles and 11 RBI. She produced a .723 slugging percentage and .655 on-base percentage.
Academic excellence: Smith has maintained a 3.66 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A Skills USA participant and peer leader in her school, she has volunteered locally on behalf of Little League Baseball, the Audrey Spicer Trust Fund, a juvenile rehabilitation center and as a fundraiser to benefit cancer research.
“Kim Smith is a threat with the bat,” said Jennifer Bradshaw, head coach at rival Polytech (Woodside, Del.). “Her hitting really stands out. She’s primarily a shortstop -- that’s what she’s been recruited for -- but she’s able to pitch, too. She does a great job keeping hitters mixed up, and that helps Sussex Tech be very successful.”
THE FUTURE: Smith has signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball on scholarship at Hofstra University this fall.