CHESAPEAKE CITY — Bohemia Manor pitcher Madison Penta can add another award to her ever-growing collection of softball accolades.
Penta, a junior, who recently led the Eagles to their third consecutive 1A State Championship, has been named the Gatorade Maryland Softball Player of the Year, the company announced Thursday from its base in Chicago.
The Gatorade award recognizes athletic and academic achievement and exemplary character on and off the field.
“Now, she’s one of the 50 best players in the country,” Bo Manor head coach Ed Abshagen said. “Could she be No. 1 in the country? With those stats, yes.”
From the circle, Penta pitched to a 21-0 record and a 0.11 ERA with 299 strikeouts and just 16 hits over 123 innings.
She threw a trio of no-hitters in the 1A postseason, including Saturday’s 19-strikeout gem against Sparrows Point in the state championship game. The junior also ended the regular season with a perfect game against 2A East Region finalist North East.
At the plate, she batted .586 with nine home runs, 34 RBIs, 25 runs scored and a 1.143 slugging percentage.
“She’s a good enough player to continually force coaching decisions on the opposite side,” Jeff Horton, head coach of rival Patterson Mill, told Gatorade. “I’m convinced that Bo Manor wouldn’t have beaten us either time without her on the team.”
Penta, who verbally committed to Auburn University, is ranked as the nation’s No. 5 recruit in the Class of 2020 by Softball America. Her efforts helped Bo Manor become the first Cecil County softball program to win three consecutive state championships.
“I’m very honored to have three in a row, but once again, it’s the team. I wouldn’t be anywhere without my team,” Penta said Saturday. “They did most of this. They scored all the runs. I can’t do this all myself.”
Penta has volunteered locally collecting goods for those in need, and as a youth softball coach. She has maintained a weighted 4.12 GPA in the classroom, Gatorade reported.
She joins recent Gatorade Maryland Softball Players of the Year Campbell Kline (2017-18, Severna Park), Kaitlin Beasley-Polko (2016-17, Leonardtown), Madison Aughinbaugh (2015-16, St. Mary’s Ryken), Nicole Stockinger (2014-15, Sherwood) and Jordan Cargile (2013-14, Eastern Tech).
According to Gatorade, its 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. The company also 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.”
Penta, who has an opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of her choosing, is in the running for the nation’s Softball Player of the Year, announced in June.
“She’s such an amazing athlete and person and a friend,” Bo Manor junior third baseman Carlee Ferguson said Saturday. “Without her, this team, we would be OK, but she’s really the glue that holds us together.”
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