Our BLITZ Softball Player of the Year nominees were announced earlier this week, and from that original pool of players, we’ve narrowed them down to our five Player of the Year Finalists (3 of which have won Player of the Year before):
Banks Co JR P/1B #22
Stats: .514 AVG (55/107), 2 HR, 35 RBI, 14 2B, 3B, 24 R, 6 BB, 10 SB, only 4 K
8-2, 1.05 ERA, 104 K, 73 IP
Why she deserves POY: Bowen has been outstanding in 2017 for the Lady Leopards, leading them to a third place finish in state. She’s been needed more at first base, otherwise her pitching stats (as great as they already are) could be much more jaw-dropping.
Habersham Central JR SS #6
Stats: .485 AVG (33/68), 3 HR, 16 RBI, 6 2B, 3B, 22 R, 9 SB, only 3 K
Why she deserves POY: Cook is a Division-I talent, as evident by her committing to Mississippi State University as just a sophomore. Her junior year didn’t end with the team result she’d like, but the Lady Raiders play in one of the highest classifications in the state. Even then, her numbers are extremely impressive, with perhaps the one that pops out most is only three strikeouts against some of the best competition in the state. Cook was the BLITZ Softball Co-Player of the Year in 2016, so that may resonate well with voters.
Commerce SR 1B #15
Stats: .413 AVG (38/92), 8 HR, 46 RBI, 33 R, 16 2B, 11 BB
Why she deserves POY: Ingram is a new name on the scene this season (missing ’16 with a shoulder injury), and she had a fantastic senior year, leading the #5-ranked Lady Tigers of Commerce to the Sweet 16 in the 1A State Playoffs. Prior to the region tournament, Ingram had already smashed eight homeruns on the season. 46 RBI…that’s ridiculous!
White Co SR C #7
Stats: .544 AVG (43/79), 10 HR, 29 RBI, 13 2B, 3 3B, 29 R, 7 BB, 3 HBP, only 2 K
Why she deserves POY: Another Division-I talent on our list of finalists, Morgan has won the BLITZ Softball Player of the Year award once before, as a freshman back in 2014. She’s gotten better each year, and the UGA commit is poised to get a lot of votes after a senior year that saw her clout 10 round-trippers to only two strikeouts all season. That’s a rare combination of power and contact. Morgan led her Lady Warriors to the state tournament second time in three years.
Stephens Co JR P #9
Stats: 24-9, 0.96 ERA, 285 K, 211 IP; .333 AVG (34/93), 8 HR, 25 RBI, 5 2B, 9 R
Why she deserves POY: Whitfield, like Cook, is the reigning BLITZ Softball Player of the Year. Her junior year ended with a state runner-up finish in Columbus. Whitfield’s offense has improved this year, but it’s still her pitching that’s her ticket to play at the next level. Those numbers are dazzling.