LEBANON HIGH SCHOOL STANDOUT NAMED GATORADE® OHIO SOFTBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR CHICAGO (June 4, 2015) — In its 30th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Tara Trainer of Lebanon High School as its 2014-15 Gatorade Ohio Softball Player of the Year.
Trainer is the first Gatorade Ohio Softball Player of the Year to be chosen from Lebanon High School. 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 Trainer as Ohio’s best high school softball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year award announced in June, Trainer joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Alicia Hollowell (2000-01, Fairfield HS, Calif.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.), Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.), Angela Tincher (2002-03, James River HS, Va.) and Kenzie Fowler (2006-07, Canyon del Oro HS, Ariz.).
The 5-foot-7 senior right-handed pitcher and second baseman led the Warriors to a 32-0 record and the Division I semifinals, scheduled for June 5. Trainer posted a 17-0 record, a 0.25 ERA with 233 strikeouts in 173 innings pitched through 32 games. A 2014 First Team All-State selection, she also batted .439 with four home runs, 36 RBI, and a .707 slugging percentage while leading her team to the No. 6 ranking the USA TODAY Super 25 Expert Rankings.
Trainer has maintained a 3.77 GPA in the classroom. A member of the National Honor Society, she has volunteered locally on behalf of Interfaith Hospitality and also through the Anthony Munoz Foundation as a peer tutor. “Tara Trainer is a player that others look up to,” said Tiffany Smith, head coach at Fairborn High. “As a coach, you hate to face someone that strong but love it at the same time. She is a well-rounded pitcher and player. She is someone that many young athletes admire too because of her great attitude and the effort that she puts forth. You can tell every game that she loves what she does.”
Trainer has signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball on scholarship at Indiana University this fall.
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.
Trainer joins recent Gatorade Ohio Softball Players of the Year Taran Alvelo (2013-14, Bloom-Carroll High School), Jenna Lilley (2012-13, Hoover High School), Kenzie Conrad (2011-12, Keystone High School), Erin Gabriel (2010-11 & 2009-10, Poland Seminary High School), Tess Sito (2008-09 & 2007-08, Elyria), and Jessica Simpson (2006–07, Hoover High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
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