THE WINNER: Rachel Hickman
School: Poplarville (Miss.)
Athletic achievement: She posted a 27-4 record with a 0.58 ERA and 325 strikeouts against only 35 walks in 194 innings-pitched this past season, leading the Hornets (28-4) to the Class 4A state semifinals. Also a second baseman, Hickman batted .441 with a home run and 32 RBI. The two-time First Team All-State selection as named by The Clarion-Ledger produced a .490 on-base percentage and a .667 slugging percentage. As a junior in 2012, she owned a 19-4 record with a 0.30 ERA and 203 strikeouts in 139.1 innings-pitched, chipping in a .441 batting average with 26 RBI.
Academic excellence: Hickman has maintained an A average.
Exemplary character: In addition to painting a mural in the school’s athletic training room as a service project, she has donated her time as a peer tutor and youth pitching instructor. She’s also volunteered on behalf of her church’s youth group.
“Rachel Hickman is definitely an exceptional athlete,” said Donna Bragg, head coach of rival Vancleave (Miss.). “She is the type of player that can win the game for you both defensively and offensively. She is an awesome pitcher and a great hitter. Her sportsmanship has always been top-notch, no matter the score.”
THE FUTURE: Hickman has signed with Southern Miss.