Signee Cayla Drotar Earns Third SC Gatorade Softball Player of the Year Honor
June 2, 2016
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Gamecock signee and Hartsville High School senior Cayla Drotar garnered the South Carolina Gatorade Softball Player of the Year award, Gatorade and USA TODAY High School Sports announced today.
Drotar captured the honor for the third straight season, going 20-2 in the circle during her senior campaign with a 0.42 ERA, striking out 204 batters in 130 innings. She also did damage at the plate, hitting .500 with 10 home runs and 49 RBI. A six-time All-State performer, Drotar led the Hartsville Red Foxes to two state titles, one in 2012 alongside Jordan Bizzell and this season’s 3A championship. The 5-7 pitcher/infielder was one of two Gamecock signees for 2017 on the American Family Insurance Preseason All-USA Softball Team, with Mackenzie Boesel joining her on that listing.
Active in the community as well, Drotar has volunteered in her area with youth sports programs and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. During her recruiting visit to campus, Drotar, Boesel and Alexis Lindsey all helped with cleanup efforts from the devastating October floods that hit earlier in the week before their visit.
Drotar will be the fifth Gamecock to gain Gatorade Player of the Year status, following Megan Matthews (1998 winner), Kate Morrison (1999), Aleca Johnson (2001) and Kate Pouliot (2002-04). The award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field.
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.
South Carolina went 38-23 in 2016, advancing to the Tallahassee Regional Championship Game in its fourth-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance under head coach Beverly Smith.