mgshlaxgirlsMaple Grove Senior High's girls lacrosse team took the Section 8 title last night in a 15-14 double OT and sudden death win over Wayzata. They are now headed to state, which begins June 10. 

-Published June 5, 2014

In its 29th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, has named Sydney Smith, of Maple Grove Senior High as its 2013-14 Gatorade Minnesota Softball Player of the Year.

The award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Smith is now in the running for the prestigious Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year award announced later this month.

The six-foot junior right-handed pitcher compiled a 19-1 record and 0.59 ERA in the circle for the Crimson (20-2) at the time of her selection. Through 22 games, Smith fanned 232 batters against just 30 walks in 130 innings pitched. Also a first basemen, Smith owned a .578 batting average with 15 extra-base hits, 17 runs scored and 24 RBI entering the Class AAA state tournament. A returning Class AAA First Team All-State selection as named by the Minnesota Fastpitch Coaches Association, she was a member of the Beverly Bandits during the team’s Premier Girls Fastpitch 16U National Championship campaign this past summer.

In addition to donating her time as a youth softball instructor, she has volunteered as part of numerous efforts to benefit the Minneapolis metropolitan area’s homeless community in coordination with the Church of the Open Door, Feed My Starving Children and Kids Against Hunger.

“She never lets the pressure get to her,” said Maple Grove head softball coach Jim Koltes. “She performs on the biggest stages and makes it look easy. Sydney is always in control, enjoys the pressures of the biggest tests and thrives on wanting to win. She is extremely humble and takes nothing for granted. She works hard to stay on top of her game and all the while, never feels the need to act like she is above anybody.”

Smith has verbally committed to play softball on an athletic scholarship at Louisiana State University beginning in the fall of 2015.

Smith was also recently named Star Tribune’s Metro Softball Player of the Year.
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-Published June 5, 2014