For a list of the other Gatorade State Softball Players of the Year, click here.
THE WINNER: Vanessa Shippy
School: Lake City (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho)
Athletic achievement: She batted .622 with 34 extra-base hits, 31 stolen bases, 40 RBI and 58 runs scored this past season, leading the Timberwolves (20-8) to the double-elimination Class 5A state tournament. The 2013 National Fastpitch Coaches Association High School Golden Shoe Award winner, Shippy owns school single-season records for hits (71), stolen bases (56) and doubles (27). As a teammate of three-time Gatorade Idaho Softball Player of the Year Casey Stangel, a freshman starter at the University of Missouri this spring, Shippy helped lead Lake City to the 2011 and 2013 Class 5A state championships as a freshman and junior.
Academic excellence: Shippy has maintained a 4.16 weighted GPA.
Exemplary character: In addition to donating her time as a peer tutor and youth softball instructor, she has volunteered on behalf of her church’s youth group and Real Life Ministries. Also a member of the National Honor Society, Shippy has served as a member of Lake City’s student council, the school’s student-leadership program and as the Coeur d’Alene School District’s student representative.
“Vanessa Shippy is the real deal,” said Larry Bieber, head coach of rival Couer d’Alene. “Every time she got up, we had to change the way we did things. She changes the game. We had to make sure we didn’t give her anything she could put in play. If you put it on the outside edge, she’d slap it to the opposite field for a base hit. If you put on the inside edge, she’d pull it for a home run.”
THE FUTURE: Shippy has signed with Oklahoma State.