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Sandra Day O'Connor's Holtorf named Gatorade Arizona Softball Player of the Year in shortened season

May 28, 2020 by Seth Polansky, AZPreps365

Rylee Holtorf has 26 home runs in just 72 career games with a .507 batting average and a 6A title in 2019.

CHICAGO (May 28, 2020) — In its 35th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Rylee Holtorf of Sandra Day O'Connor High School as its 2019-20 Gatorade Arizona Softball Player of the Year. Holtorf is the second Gatorade Arizona Softball Player of the Year to be chosen from Sandra Day O'Connor High School.

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 Holtorf as Arizona’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, Holtorf joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, 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 5-foot-7 junior third baseman and shortstop is ranked as the nation’s No. 2 recruit in the Class of 2021 by Extra Inning Softball. Holtorf posted a .462 batting average with 27 runs scored and 22 stolen bases last fall for her Arizona Storm club team against elite-level national competition. This spring for O’Connor, Holtorf batted .417 with 21 runs scored and six home runs through the Eagles’ 12-4 start before the season was cancelled. She led the Eagles to the 2019 Conference 6A state championship, batting .551 with 13 homers and a 1.205 slugging percentage.

She led the Eagles to the 2019 Conference 6A state championship, batting .551 with 13 homers and a 1.205 slugging percentage.

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 and 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.

Holtorf joins Gatorade Arizona Softball Players of the Year Carlie Scupin (2018-19, Tucson Magnet School), Marissa Schuld (2016-17 & 2017-18, Pinnacle High School), Hayley Busby (2015-16, Sandra Day O'Connor High School), and Arissa Paulson (2014-15, Payson High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.

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, on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at