Reed’s ace went 31-2 with 0.94 ERA, set state record for career victories
In one of the most predictable outcomes in this year’s prep athletic landscape, Reed senior ace Julia Jensen was named the Nevada Gatorade Softball Player of the Year on Monday.
Jensen, who also earned the award as a sophomore when the Raiders won the state title, went 31-2 this spring with a 0.94 ERA. She broke the state record for career victories, earning her 100th in the state title game against Palo Verde. The Raiders (37-4-1) fell in the following ‘if necessary’ game and finished second after corralling their fifth consecutive regional title.
“She’s been the best pitcher in the state for the last three years,” Carson coach Shane Quilling said in the release. “She throws in the low 60s, she’s got a great rise ball and she can hit every part of the plate. I think the best thing was that she always pitched from ahead, controlling the count and kept batters guessing.”
The Nevada signee and three-time 4A/DI North MVP fanned 386 batters this spring, opposed to just 24 walks. She only allowed 28 earned runs over 209.1 innings. Her 1,150 career strikeouts rank third in state history.
At the dish, Jensen batted .438 with 11 home runs and 39 RBIs. Her 29 career home runs are good for 12th in state history.
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 will award one National Player of the Year in each sport later this month.
The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which works with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Jensen will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. Twelve spotlight grants – one for each sport – will be announced throughout the year.
Jensen is the second Reed player ever to win the award for softball. Chelsea Cohen (2009) was the first.