Gatorade has announced the Softball Players of the Year for 2016-17, based on the state each player lives in and this year, eight Softball Factory alums were part of the honor.
Delaware – Avery Wheatley: Avery is a shortstop from Delmar, Delaware and just wrapped up her senior season at Delmar High School. She helped lead the Wildcats to the state championship game at the time she was selected. Wheatley hit .662 with 19 RBI and 40 runs scored and was a First Team All-State selection. Softball Factory first saw Wheatley at a College PREP event in Savannah, GA in November 2014 and a month later, attended Softball Factory’s Christmas Camp & Tournament. In 2015, she participated in the Under Armour Softball Factory Fall Classic. Wheatley has committed to play at the next level with Appalachian State University.
Hawaii – Jocelyn Alo: Alo has now been named Hawaii’s Gatorade State Player of the Year in back-to-back years. She is a senior catcher at Campbell High School in Ewa Beach, HI and helped lead the Lady Sabers to a Division I state title this season, hitting .571 with 12 home runs and 27 RBI. Defensively, she threw out nearly 40% of baserunners attempting to steal. Alo attended an Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout in Hemet, CA in November, 2016. She has committed to play at the next level with the University of Oklahoma.
Maryland – Kaitlin Beasley-Polko: The Leonardtown, MD native is a senior right-handed pitcher at Leonardtown High School and had an incredible season for the record books. Beasley-Polko dominated in her senior season, going 21-2 with an 0.36 ERA, striking out 331 in 157 innings pitched. Her dominance lasted all season as she threw six no-hitters, including one perfect game, and 15 shutouts. Kaitlin attended the 2016 Under Armour Softball Factory Eastern Classic as an 18U Participant and has committed to Coastal Carolina.
Michigan – Meghan Beaubien: Beaubien wrapped up her senior season at St. Mary Catholic Central High School where she helped the Kestrels to an 18-3 record at the time of her selection. Meghan was 15-1 in the circle with an ERA of 0.43 and 244 strikeouts in 115 innings pitched through 21 games. She attended a November 2016 National Tryout in Waterford Township (Detroit), MI. She will be playing at the next level with the University of Michigan.
Oregon – Lauren Burke: Lauren is a senior shortstop at Marist Catholic High School. Burke is the returning Gatorade State Softball Player of the Year in Oregon and helped the Spartans to a 25-3 record at the time of her selection. Putting together a solid senior season, Burke hit .629 with 14 doubles, 10 home runs, four triples, 62 runs scored and 42 RBI through 28 games. She attended a National Tryout in Hemet, California in 2016 and will play at the next level with the University of Oregon.
South Carolina – Bailey Betenbaugh: Bailey is the only underclass selection of the eight, a huge feat for the sophomore right-handed pitcher and infielder from Union County High School in Union, South Carolina, helping to lead the Yellow Jackets (26-6) to the Class 4A state championship this past season. On the mound, Bailey was 16-4 with a 1.38 ERA and hit .504 with nine homers this season. Softball Factory saw the talented Betenbaugh at an Under Armour Softball Factory National Tryout in Columbia, South Carolina back in 2015.
Texas – Casey Dixon: The senior right-handed pitcher from Willis High School in Willis, TX helped lead the Wildkats to a 39-7 record at the time of her selection with an incredible 34-7 mark in the circle with a 1.07 earned run average and an astounding 415 strikeouts in 236 innings this season. The University of Louisiana-Lafayette commit was even better during their playoff run, tossing two complete games on a single day in each of Willis’ final three rounds of the Class 5A Region 3 Tournament, as her wins were the deciders in each series.
Dixon attended the 2017 Softball Factory All-America Pre-Season Tournament in January and shined, winning an Easton Gloveman Award for her performance.
Virginia – Kathryn Sandercock: Kathryn is a junior right-handed pitcher from Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, VA. She helped lead the Knights to a perfect 27-0, winning both the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference and the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division I state titles this past season. Sandercock was 26-0 with a 0.09 ERA – yes, an 0.09 ERA – and 330 strikeouts in 151 innings pitched, allowing just 35 hits and 19 walks. Softball Factory staff saw the talented Sandercock at the 2016 Under Armour Softball Factory Eastern Classic where soon after, she was selected as a standout to train for the 2017 USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team in Oklahoma City, OK this summer. Sandercock has committed to play at James Madison University.