The Gatorade Company, in its 33rd year of honoring the country's top prep athletes, announced Monday that Meigs County pitcher Ashley Rogers has been selected as its 2017-18 Tennessee softball player of the year.
Rogers also won the honor last season after leading Meigs to the TSSAA Class A state title, which it also won in 2016. The Lady Tigers were moved up to Class AA this past season but won their third consecutive state championship.
The University of Tennessee signee compiled a 29-2 pitching record for Meigs (34-4) this season and had an earned run average of 0.20. Rogers totaled 398 strikeouts in 174 innings pitched while allowing six walks — a 66.3-to-1 ratio.
Opposing teams managed 64 hits off the near-6-foot right-hander, and the only home run she gave up all season was in the state tournament. She also batted .463 and had eight home runs among her 20 extra-base hits and drove in 37 runs.facebook
"She's an amazing player," Meigs coach Jeff Davis said. "What can you say? Her statisics speak for themselves. She's probably one of the most talented individuals you'll ever see, and she's worked for everything she's got."
Gatorade noted in its news release that the award recognizes not only athletic excellence but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. In addition to her numerous athletic accolades — she's been selected to the FloSoftball and MaxPreps All-America teams and was rated the No. 12 prospect in her class nationally by FloSoftball — Rogers has taken the initiative at her church, Central Baptist of Athens, to help with its summer camps and youth missions.
Rogers also has a 4.0 grade point average at Athens' Fairview Christian Academy, where she was class valedictorian. Fairview does not have a softball team, so she was able to play at Meigs through a co-op program approved by the Meigs County school board and the TSSAA.
"She's a great teammate," Davis said. "She treats everybody exactly the same. She uplifts everybody. I can't say enough about her. She volunteers at her church. She comes from a great family."
The news release also points out that as a recipient of the award, Rogers will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a $1,000 grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program.
Former area athletes chosen the Gatorade Tennessee softball player of the year are Soddy-Daisy's Kelsey Nunley (2012), Grace Academy's Lacye Walker (2011) and Ooltewah's Holly Thomas (2008).
Contact Kelley Smiddie at email@example.com or 423-757-6653. Follow him on Twitter @KelleySmiddie.