Missouri softball signees Tori Finucane of Maryland and Casey Stangel of Idaho each earned Gatorade Softball Player of the Year awards, the Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, announced.
Both Finucane and Stangel have earned the distinction multiple times, with Stangel claiming her third Gatorade Idaho Player of the Year honor. Stangel pitched her squad to an undefeated, 28-0 season and Class 5A State Championship. A left-handed pitcher, she compiled a 0.73 ERA with 208 strikeouts in 143.0 innings pitched, striking out batters at a clip of 1.45 per inning. Stangel was also a force at the plate, batting .640 with 16 home runs and 65 RBI. She smacked 20 doubles as a senior to help build a 1.393 slugging percentage.
Finucane picked up her second-consecutive Gatorade Virginia Player of the Year honor. The right-handed pitcher finished her senior season with a 0.21 ERA, recording 341 strikeouts in 164.0 innings of work for a 2.08 strikeout per inning average. Finucane pitched nine no-hitters, including five perfect games leading her team to a Virginia Independent Schools State Championship. Finucane batted .554 with six home runs, 45 RBI and a 1.054 slugging percentage.
The awards from Gatorade recognize not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field.