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June 9, 2011 at 9:57 AM

Walla Walla’s Alyson Ambler named Gatorade Softball POY

For the second straight year, a girl from Walla Walla has been named the Gatorade Washington Softball Player of the Year. But it’s not the same girl as in 2010.

Here is the press release:

CHICAGO — In its 26th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, today announced Alyson Ambler of Walla Walla High School as its 2010-11 Gatorade Washington Softball Player of the Year.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Ambler as Washington’s best high school softball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year award announced in June, Ambler joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Alicia Hollowell (2000-01, Fairfield HS, Calif.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.), Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.), Angela Tincher (2002-03, James River HS, Va.) and Kenzie Fowler (2006-07, Canyon del Oro HS, Ariz.).

The 5-foot-8 junior right-handed pitcher and first baseman led the Blue Devils (27-1) to the Class 4A state championship this past season. Ambler posted a 15-0 record in the circle along with a 0.57 ERA and 171 strikeouts in 98 innings pitched. The 2011 Columbia Basin Big 9 4A Division MVP batted .506 with nine home runs, 36 runs scored and 34 RBI. She hit home runs to account for the only run in both the state semifinals and state final, tossing a shutout to beat Marysville-Pilchuck, 1-0, to claim the title.

Ambler has maintained an unweighted 3.78 GPA in the classroom. The sports editor of her school newspaper, she has volunteered locally as a peer mentor, a youth tutor, a softball coach and at a retirement home in addition to donating her time coordinating a free dog-grooming community service project.

“Alyson Ambler is a dream player,” said Larry Farnworth, Ambler’s ASA coach with American Pastime from California. “She’s got an unbelievably powerful bat. She’s a very good pitcher and she’s also a very good outfielder. She brings it all to the party.”

Ambler will begin her senior year of high school this fall.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by ESPN RISE and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

Ambler joins recent Gatorade Washington Softball Players of the Year Hope Klicker (2009-10, Walla Walla), Amanda Fitzsimmons (2008-09, Auburn Riverside) and Sam Skillingstad (2007-08, Shadle Park), among the state’s list of former award winners.

To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners, and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com.

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