THE WINNER: Nickie Blue
School: Niwot (Colo.)
Athletic achievement: She led the Cougars (23-2) to the Class 4A state final this past season. Blue posted a 21-2 record with a 0.47 ERA in the circle, while batting .520 with 5 home runs and 33 RBI at the plate. She struck out 287 batters with just 12 walks in 149 innings pitched. Blue was the Northern Conference Player of the Year and a member of the Denver Post All-Colorado Team.
Academic excellence: Blue has maintained a 3.75 GPA.
Exemplary character: She has volunteered locally on behalf of the Salvation Army, youth softball programs and an elementary school literacy-outreach initiative.
“She’s an intimidating presence on the mound, and she has wonderful command of her pitches,” said Paul Seifried, head coach at Broomfield (Colo.). “She’s an excellent offensive player too, a very strong hitter.”
THE FUTURE: Blue has signed with South Carolina.