Hillsborough County has pulled off a springtime mini-sweep of the state's Gatorade Player of the Year honors.
Chamberlain softball standout Bianka Bell has become the Chiefs' first recipient of the 2011-12 Gatorade Florida Softball Player of the Year Award, coach Bobby Diez confirmed Wednesday. The announcement comes a week after Jesuit pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. won the same award for baseball.
According a press release issued by Gatorade, the award recognizes not only on-field performance, but "high standards of academic achievement and "exemplary character." An LSU signee with a 4.35 weighted GPA, Bell now becomes eligible for the national Gatorade award to be announced later this month.
The Times' player of the year for Hillsborough County, Bell hit .720 with 11 home runs and 35 RBI while leading the Chiefs (27-5) to the Class 7A state title. She committed only four errors for the year, and struck out only once in 104 plate appearances. In the postseason alone, she went 10-for-15 with four homers.