GLEN DALE - Kylie Howard has another achievement to add to her standout junior season. The John Marshall shortstop has been named the Gatorade Softball Player of the Year for the state of West Virginia, as announced on Wednesday by ESPNHS.
"I was very surprised when I found out," Howard said. "I'm really honored to be mentioned with the top players in the nation."
ESPNHS determined the state-by-state winners by athletic production and impact during the 2011-12 season, high academic achievement, and exemplary personal character.
FILE PHOTO BY RICK THORP
John Marshall’s Kylie Howard batted .475 and had 55 RBI in 2012.
Howard has a career 3.67 grade point average and is also a devoted member of her church youth group.
John Marshall coach Ed West was the one who had the pleasure of calling Howard and telling her the news.
"I was very pleased to hear that she got it," West said. "She's been a really solid performer for us the past three years. She's an unbelievable athlete, I just can't say enough good things about her. She definitely deserves all the credit she receives."
Howard led the Monarchs to a 35-4 record and a Class AAA state championship title this season. The three-time first team all-state selection batted .475 with 52 runs scored, five home runs, 15 doubles, eight triples, and 55 RBI while being named to the 2012 All-State Tournament team as well as the OVAC 5A Player of the Year.
"Howard is a very good hitter and has good speed when she gets on base," Morgantown coach Lorri Lipscomb told ESPNHS.com. "She also has a great arm and she makes all the catches in the field."
Her coach couldn't agree more.
"She's been our leading hitter for the last three years," West said. "She's got all the tools and was consistent for us from the beginning of the season until the end."
"The main thing I'll take away from this year is that our team was really close," Howard said. "I'll never forget this season."
The JM softball team finished its season on the outside looking in on the Powerade FAB Rankings. The Monarchs ended up on the bubble and just missed out on the chance to be named as one of the Top 50 teams in the nation.