Wa-Hi's Ambler Gatorade Washington State Player of the Year

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Wa-Hi pitcher Alyson Ambler delivers a strike under pressure during the Class 4A state championship game against Marysville-Pilchuck Saturday in Spokane. Ambler delivered the final strike with runners in scoring positions and belted a home run for the only score of the game as Wa-Hi won, 1-0.

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It was hugs for the game hero as Alyson Ambler (center) gets surrounded by her catcher Kendsey Hill (left) and Andrea Hamada (with glasses) following Wa-Hi's 1-0 4A state championship win over Marysville-Pilchuck Saturday afternoon in Spokane. Ambler struck out the final batter with winning runs on base and got the Blue Devils' only score, a solo home run.

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Taking all that they could in the second game against Lakeside, Wa-Hi head coach Jerry Humphreys high-fives Alyson Ambler who turned the solid hit into the run with errors on Eastlake's part. The 3rd inning score drew first blood and gave the Blue Devils a 1-0 lead in their second 4A State Softball Tournament game in Spokane on Friday. Wa-Hi won 5-0.

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Wa-Hi base runner Alyson Ambler (13) slides into Wenatchee catcher Emily Holzerland (20) at home plate during their Friday afternoon game. Ambler was called out on the play keeping the Blue Devils at a 2-0 lead over Wenatchee.

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Wa-Hi's Alyson Ambler (13) tangles up with Wenatchee catcher Emile Holzerland (20) on a play at the plate during the first inning.

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Wa-Hi's Alyson Ambler (13) smiles while talking with her coach Jerry Humphreys from third base after a triple during the first inning.

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It was all smiles for Alyson Ambler arriving at third base during first-game action Friday as she and the rest of the Blue Devils continued their battery of hits, runs and winning ways with the mercy-rule win over Davis.

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Floating just above the field, Wa-Hi pitcher Alyson Ambler delivers an air strike to Chiawana.

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Wa-Hi picher Alyson Ambler keeps her gloved hand up during her wind-up for a pitch to a Pendleton batter.

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Wa-Hi's Alyson Ambler (top) pitches for the Blue Devils as the team opened its season against Touchet in a three-team jamboree Saturday.

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Wa-Hi players surround home plate to celebrate teammate Alyson Ambler's (at left) solo home run during the Blue Devils' 7-0 shutout of Gonzaga Prep at the Class 4A regional tournament Friday at University High in Spokane.

CHICAGO - Wa-Hi softball pitcher Alyson Ambler has been named Gatorade Washington Softball Player of the Year.

Ambler joins Blue Devil teammate Hope Klicker, who won the award last 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.

Ambler is now a finalist for the Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year award, to be announced this month.

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 Wa-Hi's 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, said in a press release on her award. "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."

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 and field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport.

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