For a list of the other Gatorade State Softball Players of the Year, click here.
THE WINNER: Vada Sherrill
School: Alexander Central (Taylorsville, N.C.)
Position: Second baseman
Athletic achievement: She has led the Cougars to a 33-0 record, a No. 1 ranking in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 and a berth in the Class 4A state finals against Cape Fear, scheduled for June 6. Entering the state championship series, Sherrill was hitting .555 with three home runs, 40 RBI and a state-record 59 runs scored. The North Piedmont Conference Player of the Year and an All-State selection, she has also contributed 17 doubles, three triples and 48 stolen bases in 50 attempts.
Academic excellence: Sherrill has maintained a 3.94 GPA.
Exemplary character: A talented singer and a devoted member of her church youth group, she has volunteered locally on behalf of a nursing home and a food pantry.
“Sherrill is a phenomenal leadoff hitter,” said Carlee Carpenter, head coach at North Lincoln. “She not only does a great job of getting on base, but nine times out of 10, when she gets on, she will score. She also drives in runs as well or better than most clean-up hitters. She’s the total package.”
THE FUTURE: Sherrill will be a senior this fall.