THE WINNER: Valerie Kaff
School: Mountain View (Mesa, Ariz.)
Athletic achievement: She posted a 27-7 record in the circle along with a 0.84 ERA this past season, leading the Toros (27-8) to the Division I state tournament loser’s bracket final. Kaff struck out 431 batters and walked just 65 in 216.2 innings pitched to go with 16 shutouts and two no-hitters. At the plate, Kaff batted .310 with two home runs, 18 RBI and a .406 on-base percentage.
Academic excellence: Kaff has maintained a 3.65 GPA.
Exemplary character: She has volunteered locally at a homeless shelter and food bank in addition to donating her time to the Salvation Army and as a youth coach and umpire.
“Mountain View was literally Val Kaff,” said Stefanie Ewing, head coach of Chaparral (Scottsdale, Ariz.). “The only chance they had to win games was if she was on. Talk about rising up every single game and not letting the pressure break you. I was extremely impressed by Val.”
THE FUTURE: Kaff has signed with Michigan State.