Mia Davidson of Orange High School has been named the its 2015-16 Gatorade North Carolina Softball Player of the Year.
Davidson, who flirted with the N.C. high school record for home runs in a season, is the first Gatorade Player of the Year from Orange.
The announcement came as a surprise Thursday morning for Davidson, who was informed of her award shortly after classes began at Orange high School.
The 5-foot-5 junior catcher led the Panthers (23-4) to the third round of the Class 3A state playoffs this past season.
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Davidson compiled a .740 batting average with 18 home runs, 49 RBI and 57 runs scored.
A two-time all-state honoree, Montgomery posted an on-base percentage of .851 and a slugging percentage of 2.060.
“Davidson is the best hitter that I’ve seen in over 23 years coaching softball, and the best catcher too,” said Robbie Wray, head coach at Middle Creek High. “She has a great arm and her knowledge of the game is second to none.”
Davidson has maintained a 3.96 GPA in the classroom. She is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and she has raised funds to send seriously ill children to summer camp and has also volunteered locally on behalf of a food bank.
Davidson is the Big 8 Conference Player of the Year and is ranked as the nation’s No. 8 recruit in the Class of 2017 by FloSoftball.com. She and her sister Montana Davidson, a senior shortstop, both have committed verbally to play at Mississippi State.
When she begins her senior year this fall at Orange, Mia Davidson will be within two home runs of the NCHSAA record for homers in a career (43). She was within one run of the NCHSAA season record (19) this spring, but was intentionally walked by opponents in all of her plate appearances in Orange’s last two playoff games in May.
Winning the state player of the year award automnatically qualifies Davison as a nominee for Gatorade’s National Softball Player of the Year award announced in June.
Now in its 31st year, 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 & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport.
The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA Today High School Sports, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Past Gatorade N.C. Softball Players of the Year include: Mary Williams (2014-15, Cape Fear High School), Vada Sherrill (2013-14, Alexander Central), Lexi Shubert (2012-13, Fred T. Foard), Lexi Davis (2011-12, Porter Ridge), Chelsea Wilkinson,(2010-11, Alexander Central), Chelsea Wilkinson, (2009-10, Alexander Central), Tisha Mahon (2008-09, North Davidson), Chelsea Leonard (2007–08, Central Davidson), and Ashton Ward, (2006-07, Butler).