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.