June 21, 2012
With anticipation of the 2013 softball season already looming, the University of Minnesota has more to look forward to as incoming freshman pitcher Nikki Anderson was named 2012 Minnesota's Ms. Softball and the 2011-12 Gatorade Minnesota Softball Player of the Year.
The Brainerd, Minn. native was named Ms. Softball this past weekend after posting a 20-3 record while compiling a 0.80 ERA, striking out 227 batters and leading the Warriors to Class 3A Sectional Semifinals. Anderson also received her second all-state accolade and third all-section honor earlier in the year. This season, she also saw action at the plate for the first time at the varsity level and notched a batting average of .389 with five doubles and 14 RBI.
Anderson was one-of-seven finalists up for the award, which also included future Gopher teammate Sydney Fabian from Hill-Murray High School.
The 5-10, left-handed hurler's in-state honor comes just over a week after being named the 2011-12 Gatorade Minnesota 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 Anderson as Minnesota's best high school softball player. Also an accomplished flutist, Anderson has maintained a 3.78 GPA in the classroom, in addition to volunteering in the local community.
"Nikki is a lefty pitcher that throws the ball with good command and good velocity," said head coach Jessica Allister. "We are excited about the new look she will bring to our pitching staff, especially from the left side."
This coming fall, Anderson will continue a legacy of Anderson's to wear the Maroon & Gold. Her grandfather, Robert Anderson, was a member of the Golden Gopher baseball team that won the NCAA National Championship in 1956, and her aunt, Lezlie Vermillion (Anderson), was a 1992 inductee into the Minnesota Softball Hall of Fame.
The last Golden Gopher player to receive both, Ms. Softball and Gatorade Softball Player of the Year, awards was junior pitcher Sara Moulton in 2009-10.
Anderson is one-of-six incoming freshmen for the fall. Along with Anderson and Fabian, Coach Allister is eager for the arrival of newcomers Marissa Gilbuena (Aliso Viejo, Calif./Aliso Niguel HS), Brandi McGregor (Sharpsburg, Ga./East Coweta HS), Paige Palkovich (Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview HS) and Kayla Wenner (Nicollet, Minn./Nicollet HS).
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