Bri Peck has turned plenty of heads around the area’s softball community this spring.
Clearly, they aren’t the only ones.
Peck, a Spring-Ford sophomore, has been selected 2018-19 Gatorade Pennsylvania Softball Player of the Year.
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 Peck as Pennsylvania’s best high school softball player.
Peck is the first Spring-Ford honoree and first southeast Pa. recipient since Avon Grove star Maggie Balint won the award three times (2013-14-2015-16).
“(Spring-Ford teammate) Ashley Della Guardia called me up to Coach Hughes’ classroom and she told me I was Gatorade Player of the Year,” Peck said. “I was like, ‘you’re kidding!’ I was so shocked and so excited.”
The 5-foot-9 sophomore right-handed pitcher and shortstop has put together a remarkable season that has the Rams entering the PIAA Class 6A playoffs as the third-place finisher from District 1.
At the time of selection, Peck had led the Rams to a 23-0 record. She compiled a 13-0 record with a 0.61 ERA along with a .525 batting average, 11 home runs and 31 RBI through 23 games. She surrendered just 21 hits and 19 walks in 68.2 innings pitched, while striking out 124 batters. She threw multiple no-hitters and hurled a perfect game in Spring-Ford’s District 1 quarterfinal win over Garnet Valley.
Peck was a First Team All-PAC and Second Team All-State selection as a freshman.
The Rams are now 24-1 – their lone loss to District 1 champion Downingtown West. Most recently, Peck threw a four-hit shutout by Pennsbury in the District 1 third-place game on May 31.
Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year award to be announced in June, Peck 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.).
Peck has volunteered locally on behalf of the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and youth softball teams.
“Brianna Peck is a very talented softball player, both offensively and defensively,” said Kim Musselman, head coach at Boyertown. “She can compete as both a shortstop and pitcher. She embodies what a softball player should be.”
Peck has maintained a B average in the classroom.
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.
Peck joins recent Gatorade Pennsylvania Softball Players of the Year Lexi Wagner (2017-18, Seton LaSalle Catholic High School), Morgan Ryan (2016-17, Hempfield Area High School), and Balint (2015-16, 2014-15 & 2013-14, Avon Grove High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Peck 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.
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