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Softball Athlete of the Year
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Softball Athlete of the Year



Kristin Schmidt
North Shore High School, Houston, Texas

Schmidt has enjoyed an outstanding career at North Shore. A right-handed pitcher, she was voted her team's Most Valuable Player three times. After giving up only one earned run as a freshman, she helped lead North Shore to the state's Class 5A title as a sophomore in 1998, a year she earned All-Tournament Team and First Team All-State honor. She pitched her team to the regional quarterfinals this year. Also an outstanding student with a 4.0 grade-point average, Schmidt has accepted a scholarship to the University of Notre Dame, one of the nation's elite college softball programs. "Athletes like Kristin Schmidt are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one of the best players not only in the state of Texas, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her." 



Catherine "Cat" Osterman
Cypress Springs High School, Cypress, Texas

"Athletes like Catherine Osterman are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one of the best softball players not only in the state of Texas, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her." Osterman, who will attend the University of Texas, was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year after striking out 812 batters her junior and senior years. As a senior, she posted a 19-3 record, struck out 435, and did not allow an earned run all season. She threw eight no-hitters in the first month of the season alone and led Cypress Springs High to the Class 5A region semifinals. She batted .343 and excelled in the classroom as well, earning a 6.071 grade-point average (on a 6.0 scale). Osterman also struck out all 21 batters she faced in a seven-inning perfect game as a junior. Osterman was voted to the American Softball Association All-America Third Team in 1999 and the First Team in 2000. Last summer, she helped lead the Katy Cruisers club team to the Under-18 ASA Gold national championship, striking out 106 batters in 53 tournament innings. She also struck out 11 batters in five innings for the Cruisers in an exhibition game against the Olympic gold medal-winning USA Softball Team. 



Alicia Hollowell
Fairfield High School, Fairfield, California

"Athletes like Alicia Hollowell are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one of the best softball players not only in the state of California, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her." Hollowell, who will attend the University of Arizona, became the first pitcher in national high school history to record 2,000 career strikeouts, finishing her career with 2,127 strikeouts overall. Her career record was 126-15, and in four years allowed just one earned run, for an earned-run average of 0.08. The 6-foot-2 Hollowell became the first player to record back-to-back seasons with 600 strikeouts or more, and once fanned 61 batters in a 30-inning game. Her record this spring was 24-7, with five of the losses by 1-0 scores. Sports Illustrated magazine also recognized Hollowell's distinguished career with a mention in its "Faces in the Crowd" section this year.



Lisa Dodd
University City High School, San Diego, California

"Lisa Dodd has concluded what can only be termed a remarkable high school career," said NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro. "The NHSCA is proud to be honoring her as its senior softball athlete of the year." Dodd, who played for Mira Mesa High School until her senior season, capped a tremendous prep career by leading University City to the California Interscholastic Federation San Diego Section Division III title. Previously Dodd had led Mira Mesa to a pair of Division II titles. The championships are the greatest team reward possible for softball in California, a state that does not yet sponsor an overall state championship tournament. In her entire prep career, Dodd pitched in nine playoff games and never allowed a single run. During her senior season she was 16-2 as a pitcher with a .16 ERA, striking out 204 batters and walking just 18. Additionally, Dodd set several hitting records during her career, including 224 career hits, 62 single-season hits as a senior, and 17 home runs, also as a senior. Dodd will take a 3.2 GPA and 1,210 SAT to UCLA next season to continue her academic and athletic careers.



Anjelica Selden
Vanden High in Fairfield, California

Selden is also a pitcher, with a regular season record of 22-3 and a .04 ERA. In 187 innings, Selden amazingly allowed just one earned run, while collecting 422 strikeouts. She tossed 14 no-hitters on the season, including six perfect games and allowed only 14 hits all season long. Ten of Selden's no-hitters came in a stretch of 71 and 1/3 innings of no-hit softball. At the plate Selden, who will attend UCLA, batted .453 with six home runs.



Valerie Chapple
Olathe East High School, Olathe, Kansas

A third baseman who also can catch and play the outfield, Chapple led Olathe East High to a 26-1 record and the Class 6A state title last season, when she hit .636 with 40 RBIs. Olathe East stands unbeaten at 20-0 and is ranked No. 1 in the state entering this year's state tournament series. A three-time All-State selection, Chapple entered her senior year already in possession of eight school records, including batting average (.598), slugging percentage (.978), on-base percentage (.602), doubles and triples. Chapple, who will continue her career at the University of Kansas, was a National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-America First Team selection as a junior.  



Kirsten Shortridge
Keller High School, Keller, Texas

Often compared to former NHSCA Senior Athlete of the Year and University of Texas pitching ace Cat Osterman, the 5-foot-11 Shortridge improved to 24-1 this season after pitching back-to-back perfect games April 22, striking out 30 of the 45 batters she faced. She has a 0.13 earned-run average and 331 strikeouts in 160 innings for Keller, ranked No. 2 nationally. Offensively, she is hitting .539 with six doubles, seven triples, two home runs, 24 RBIs and 36 stolen bases. Over the past two seasons, she has allowed just five earned runs in 414 innings. A two-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association First Team selection, Shortridge will attend Baylor University.



Jordan Taylor
Valencia High School, Placentia, California 

Valencia is ranked No. 1 in the USA Today Super 25, and Taylor, one of five Valencia players committed to Division 1 college programs, is one of the major reasons. Heading into the Division 1 South Section state playoffs, Taylor had posted a perfect 28-0 record, with a 0.23 earned-run average and 348 strikeouts in 185 innings. She threw a perfect game and nine no-hitters during a junior season that saw her finish 26-5 with a 0.13 earned-run average, and her 416 strikeouts (in 215 innings) made her the first girl to exceed the 400-strikeout mark in Santa Clarita Valley history. Taylor ended an 18-3 sophomore season with 58 consecutive scoreless innings. She will attend the University of Michigan.



Cathleen "Cat" Hosfield
Riverdale High School, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

First, the bad news: Hosfield's senior season ended prematurely when she broke her ankle sliding into second base while running out a double on March 24. But the 5-foot-9, 145-pound pitcher did more than enough to lock up Senior Athlete of the Year honors during a stellar junior season that saw her strike out a national-record 659 batters in 257 innings - a staggering 14.74 strikeouts per seven-inning game. Overall, Hosfield posted a 44-5 record with a 0.31 earned-run average, allowing only 12 earned runs and 84 hits while walking just 28. The University of Tennessee commitment, who ended her junior season with 1,259 career strikeouts, threw 31 shutouts, three perfect games, nine no-hitters and 17 one-hitters to lead Riverdale to the Class 3A state semifinals. She was named All-Midstate Player of the Year by the Nashville Tennessean.



Kenzie Fowler
Canyon del Oro High School, Oro Valley, Arizona

Last spring, the 6-foot Fowler became the first softball player - and the 10th in any sport - to be named Gatorade National Player of the Year as a junior after pitching Canyon del Oro to a 33-4 record and its second consecutive Class 4A Division 1 state championship. After overcoming life-threatening surgery and eight days in intensive care for a vascular condition, she finished 24-1 with a 0.28 earned-run average as a junior, striking out 309 batters in 148 2/3 innings while recording four no-hitters. She also excelled at the plate, batting .448 with five home runs and 33 RBIs. As a sophomore, she was 28-1 with a 0.16 ERA. This spring, Fowler, whose fastball has been clocked at 71 miles per hour, is 20-2 and pitched a perfect game in her final regular-season start. Fowler, who has a 3.39 grade-point average, will attend the University of Arizona.



Dallas Escobedo
St. Mary’s High School, Phoenix, Arizona

Escobedo burst onto the scene as a freshman in 2007, when she led St. Mary's to its first 5A Division 1 state championship, pitching a four-hitter and striking out 17 in an eight-inning 2-0 victory over Sierra Vista Buena High to earn Big School Player of the Year honors from the Arizona Republic. She finished that season with a 27-8 record, 16 shutouts, five no-hitters, a 0.73 ERA and 501 strikeouts in 260 innings. She broke that record this season, striking out 520 in leading the Lady Knights to the championship game. That included a 6-0 record at the MaxPreps Tournament of Champions, featuring a 12-inning perfect game with 21 strikeouts in a 4-0 championship win, and she struck out 172 in her first 10 wins. St. Mary’s also advanced to the state semifinals her sophomore and junior seasons. As a sophomore, Escobedo pitched a perfect game, four no-hitters and nine one-hitters, also hitting .357 with eight home runs, 33 RBIs and 14 stolen bases. Rated the nation’s No. 1 player by ESPN RISE, she will attend Arizona State University.



Andrea DiPrima
Buffalo Grove High School, Buffalo Grove, Illinois  

A rare junior to be awarded First-Team All-America honors by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association in 2010, DiPrima, an outfielder, holds virtually every school season and career offensive record. Last year, DiPrima batted .583 with 10 home runs, 43 RBIs and 67 hits – all school season records – and also had 16 doubles, a slugging percentage of 1.035 and 33 runs scored. As a sophomore, DiPrima batted .542 and set another school record with 23 doubles, recording 65 hits, and she batted .459 as a freshman with 15 doubles, 50 hits and 29 RBIs. Through her junior year, she owned career records for batting average (.529), hits (182), doubles (54), home runs (13), extra-base hits (77) and runs batted in (95). She had 25 hits through her team’s first 18 games this year. A four-year starter at guard on the Bison basketball team, DiPrima scored 1,027 points in her career and played on a state tournament team as a freshman. Also an outstanding student, DiPrima, who ranks in the top 3 percent of her class with a 5.28 GPA (of 5.0), will attend Northwestern University.  



Rainey Gaffin
Legacy High School,Broomfield, Colorado

Gaffin has been one of the main reasons that Legacy, which opened its doors in 2000, has now won five consecutive 5Astate softball titles and built a 70-game winning streak that carried into this season. Playing for her mother, Legacy coach Dawn Gaffin, Rainey, a 5-foot-10 right-hander, has been the Lightning’s starting pitcher for two years. She was named Boulder-based Player of the Year for the second straight year after she scorched opposing pitchers for a .591 batting average and a school-record 15 home runs last fall, while compiling a22-2 record, a 1.74 earned-run average and 124 strikeouts onthe mound using a curveball-screwball combination. That performance also earned her ESPN Rise Player of the Year honors. Asa junior, Gaffin was a perfect 23-0 with a 0.98 ERA, striking out109 and walking just 18 in 124 innings, and in November of that year, she was named GTM Sportswear Athlete of the Month by the NHSCA. She also batted .693 with 13 doubles, 41RBIs and 44 runs scored. She is a two-time Gatorade Colorado Player of the Year, two-time 5A state tournament Most Valuable Player, The Denver Post two-time All-Colorado Player of the Year and the 2011 Colorado Sportswoman of the Year. Gaffin, who owns a 3.39 grade-point average, will attend the University of Tennessee.



Carley Hoover 
D.W. Daniel High School, Central, South Carolina  

Stanford-bound Carley Hoover was virtually unhittable during her senior season. Hoover finished the season with a 0.15 ERA with 338 strikeouts in 138 innings. The four-time All-State selection was also great at the plate – hitting .500 with four home runs and 45 runs scored.



Johanna Grauer
Amador Valley, Pleasanton, California

Johanna Grauer had a nearly perfect senior season for Amador Valley in 2014. Grauer, who will attend UCLA, was a perfect 26-0 with 14 shutouts. She fanned 290 battles in just 190 innings with an ERA of 0.51 and opponents batting only .097. In three years, Grauer was 73-3 with 900 strikeouts. This past year, Amador Valley was named national champs by named Grauer Ms. Softball 2014. Grauer is the fifth California softball player to be honored by the NHSCA.



Taylor McQuillin
Mission Viejo HS, Mission Viejo, California

Taylor McQuillan, the 2014 Gatorade National Softball player of the Year, led her school to a #1 ranking in the nation by MaxPreps for most of the year. During the 2015 season, McQuillan set a new California record for wins with 103.  She finished the year with a 30-1 record and a 0.31 ERA.

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