Two Softball Signees Earn Gatorade Player of the Year
CHICAGO - Mizzou softball signees Tori Finucane and Casey Stangel earned Gatorade Softball Player of the Year awards for their respective states of high school competition, the Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, recently announced.
Both Finucane and Stangel have earned the distinction multiple times, with Stangel claiming her third Gatorade Idaho Player of the Year honor with the completion of her senior season at Lake City High School. 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 a force at the plate, batting .640 with 16 home runs and 65 RBI. She smacked 20 doubles as a senior to help build an astute 1.393 slugging percentage.
Finucane picked up her second-consecutive Gatorade Virginia Player of the Year honor with a dominating season in the circle for Bishop O'Connell High School. The right-handed pitcher finished her senior campaign with a stellar 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, en route to leading her team to a Virginia Independent Schools State Championship. Finucane was dialed in at the plate as well, batting .554 with six home runs, 45 RBI and a 1.054 slugging percentage.
National honors have piled up for the future Tigers, with both earning NFCA High School All-America accolades in their careers. Finucane was an NFCA First Team All-America pitcher in 2012, with Stangel taking an at-large pitcher slot on the Third Team. The duo were additionally MaxPreps All-Americans as juniors.
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. The Gatorade Company is in its 28th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes and will name a National Softball Player of the Year later in the month.