THE WINNER: Jess Cummings
School: Northern (Owings, Md.)
Athletic achievement: The state’s returning Gatorade Softball Player of the Year led the Patriots (23-0) to their sixth straight Class 3A state championship this past season. Cummings posted a 22-0 record with a 0.00 ERA and 298 strikeouts in 135 innings pitched. She threw nine no-hitters including two perfect games and held opponents to a .041 batting average, allowing one run all season. At the plate, the 2012 Washington Post All-Met First Team selection hit .250 with 11 RBI.
Academic excellence: Cummings has maintained an A average.
Exemplary character: A member of the Northern High Key Club, she has volunteered as part of Christmas in April, which benefits needy senior citizens, and as a youth softball coach.
“It’s hard to believe but Jess is a much-improved pitcher over a year ago,” said Tommy Orndorff, head coach of Bishop O’Connell (Arlington, Va.). “She has good velocity and excellent movement on her pitches. She’s special — just an awesome competitor in the circle.”
THE FUTURE: Cummings has verbally committed to Penn State.