• 10-JUN-2022

2021-22 Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year Award Winner Keagan Rothrock

Indianapolis, In. [June 10, 2022] – In its 37th year of honoring the nation's most elite high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Keagan Rothrock of Roncalli High School in Indianapolis, In. is the 2021-22 Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year. Rothrock won the prestigious award for her accomplishments on and off the field, joining an impressive group of former Gatorade National Softball Players of the Year who have combined for 17 gold medals and five National Championships.

Rothrock was surprised with the trophy by her family, coaches and teammates at school. Check out a video of the announcement here

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 Rothrock as the nation's best high school softball player. The Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others to evaluate candidates, selected Rothrock from nearly half a million other student-athletes who play softball nationwide. 

Competition for the national award was fierce. Rothrock topped the list of state winners in softball who collectively boast an incredible list of accomplishments, including 36 who volunteer with 2+ organizations, 9 returning state Gatorade Players of the Year and 23 with a GPA of 4.0 and above.

“There is ‘dominating,’ and then there’s what Keagan does—and she’s been that way her entire career,” says Brentt Eads, executive editor of Extra Inning Softball. “Keagan has been nicknamed ‘the Lebron James of Softball’ because of her physical talents and her success at leading teams to championships. She’s a fiery competitor between the lines, but she’s humble and hard-working off the field. She isn’t merely the top hurler in her class. She’s one of the best pre-college pitchers in any age group or any graduation year. She is an excellent power hitter as well, and her work ethic is unmatched for her age level.” 

At the time of her selection, the 5-foot-10 junior right-handed pitcher had led the Royals to a perfect 32-0 record and a berth in the Class 4A state championship game. The state’s returning Gatorade Softball Player of the Year, Rothrock owned a 27-0 record with a 0.73 ERA entering the state final, having fanned 366 batters in 163.1 innings pitched through 32 games while surrendering just 17 walks and 51 hits. A member of the USA Softball U18 National Team, she also batted .529 with 14 home runs and 54 RBI amassing an OPS of 1.628. Rothrock was a National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American, a MaxPreps First Team All-American and the Extra Inning Softball Player of the Year as a sophomore. She’s ranked as the nation’s No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2023 by Softball America.

Also a talented artist and an editor of her school’s yearbook, Rothrock has volunteered locally on behalf of Servant’s Heart of Indy, Riley Hospital for Children and Powerhouse Training softball camps. She also coaches youth players privately in hitting and pitching almost daily and donates most of her earnings to her church.

Rothrock has maintained a 4.06 GPA in the classroom. She will begin her senior year of high school this fall.

“There are plenty of sports awards for high school athletes, but what sets Gatorade Player of the Year apart is how we look at the whole athlete,” said Gatorade Senior Vice President and General Manager Brett O’Brien. “Keagan Rothrock’s achievements in sport, in the classroom and in her community are head and shoulders above the competition, which is why she is so deserving of this award.” 

Each year, a selection committee evaluates the nation’s top talent to choose one state winner from each of the 50 states as well as Washington D.C., in 12 different sports: football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, baseball, softball, boys and girls soccer, and boys and girls track & field. In all, 608 athletes are honored each year. From the pool of state winners, one national winner is selected in each of the 12 sports. 

Gatorade has a long-standing history of serving athlete communities and understands how sports instill valuable lifelong skills on and off the field. Since the program's inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators. Previous winners include a distinguished list of athletes, such as Peyton Manning, Abby Wambach, Jayson Tatum, Elena Delle Donne and many other sports icons. 

To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com or follow us on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY, Instagram at instagram.com/Gatorade and Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade. 








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