CHICAGO (May 30, 2019) — In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Lexi Kilfoyl of Academy at the Lakes as its 2018-19 Gatorade Florida Softball Player of the Year. Now a two-time winner, Kilfoyl was the first Gatorade Florida Softball Player of the Year to be chosen from Academy at the Lakes in 2017-2018.
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 Kilfoyl as Florida’s best high school softball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year award to be announced in June, Kilfoyl joins an elite alumni association of past state softball award-winners, including Catherine Osterman (2000-01, Cy Spring High School, Texas), Kelsey Stewart (2009-10, Arkansas City High School, Kan.), Carley Hoover (2012-13 D.W. Daniel High School, S.C.), Jenna Lilley (2012-13, Hoover High School, Ohio), Morgan Zerkle (2012-13 Cabell Midland High School, W. Va.), and Rachel Garcia (2014-15, Highland High School, Calif.).
The state’s returning Gatorade Player of the Year, the 6-foot-2 senior, right-handed pitcher and first baseman led the Wildcats to a 19-7 record and the Class 2A state championship this past season. A shoulder injury kept Kilfoyl out of the circle for a month during the season, but she still posted a 14-1 record with a 0.48 ERA, striking out 134 batters in 73 innings pitched while allowing just 15 hits. At the plate, Kilfoyl batted .563 with 12 home runs and 37 RBI, compiling a .653 on-base percentage and a 1.188 slugging percentage. A member of the USA Softball Junior National Team, she is ranked as the nation’s No. 5 recruit in the Class of 2019 by Softball America.
A member of the Mu Alpha Theta mathematics honor society, Kilfoyl has volunteered locally as part of community beautification projects. “Lexi is a fantastic all-around ballplayer,” said Gary Dreyer, head coach of Seven Rivers Christian High. “She’s intimidating to even the best of hitters because of her ability to throw each of her pitches with great command.”
Kilfoyl has maintained a 3.82 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a national letter of intent to play softball on scholarship at the University of Alabama 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. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.
Two-time winner Kilfoyl joins Gatorade Florida Softball Players of the Year Ally Muraskin (2016-17, Coral Springs Charter School), Katie Chronister (2015-16, Gainesville High School), Jenna Goodrich (2014-15, American Heritage School) and Meghan King (2013-14, St. Thomas Aquinas High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Kilfoyl also has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of her choosing. She is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.
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.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit www.Gatorade.com/POY, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.