From many, there will be one. While there’s still no guarantee contending athletes will win their own state at this point in the season, a number of elite performers are making a case for Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year consideration. Here’s the scoop the latest top candidate.
Senior left-handed pitcher, Lake City (Coeur d'Alene, Idaho)
Greatness Present: When fans Google her name, they may receive this suggestion: “Did you mean Casey Stengel?” Search engines won’t confuse her with the eight-time World Series champ for long. Stangel is cementing her own legacy, and not just at the bat, where she’s hitting .625 through her team’s first five games.
In a four-game sweep through neighboring Washington to start the season this past month, Stangel finished 9-for-14 at the plate with eight RBI and six runs scored. She recorded a .765 on-base percentage and 1.071 slugging percentage on the road trip.
In the circle, the 5-foot-10 southpaw has started 5-0 with a 1.70 ERA and 46 strikeouts through 33 innings pitched.
Greatness Past: The two-time Gatorade Idaho Softball Player of the Year, Stangel posted a 22-2 record in 132.1 innings as a junior with a 0.37 ERA and 218 strikeouts, leading the Timberwolves (22-2) to the 2012 Class 5A state championship game. She also batted .558 with 11 home runs and 59 RBI last season.
Also the three-time returning Inland Empire League MVP, Stangel finished 25-0 with a 0.33 ERA and 283 strikeouts in 149 innings as a sophomore, leading Lake City to the 2011 Class 5A state title.
Greatness Future: Missouri
Make no mistake: The Gatorade State Softball Player of the Year races aren’t over, and the National POY race is now heating up. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list.Check back for daily updates on the top contenders making their case.