For a list of the other Gatorade State Softball Players of the Year, click here.
THE WINNER: Karissa Carlton
School: North Smithfield (R.I.)
Athletic achievement: She posted a 16-1 record along with a 0.72 ERA in the circle this past season, leading the Lady Northmen (16-1) to the Division II state tournament. Carlton struck out 170 batters and walked just 17 in 97 innings pitched. A 2013 Rhode Island Coaches Association First Team All-State selection, she allowed just 46 hits, firing two no-hitters, including a perfect game.
Academic excellence: Carlton has maintained a B average.
Exemplary character: A competitive equestrian rider, she has volunteered locally using horsemanship to provide therapeutic services to children and adults with developmental disorders.
“Karissa Carlton is hands down the best pitcher I have seen since the pitching rubber was moved back to the college distance of 43 feet,” said Bill Aquilante, head coach of Pilgrim. “She has complete command of the strike zone and makes you chase her pitch once she gets ahead.”
THE FUTURE: Carlton will attend URI.