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Allegany's Abi Britton wins Gatorade Maryland softball Player of the Year

Jun. 8—CUMBERLAND — Abi Britton has been the area's best softball player since she burst onto the scene three years ago; now, she'll forever be known as the state's best player in her senior season.

The Allegany High ace was awarded Gatorade Maryland softball Player of the Year Friday following a sensational final campaign in which she allowed just one earned run in leading the Campers to a second state championship in three years.

"I'm ecstatic because I've been trying to get this award for the past three years," Britton said. "It's an honor because I get to represent this area on a national level."

The right-hander, who also received MaxPreps state Player of the Year, had an 18-0 record in the circle with a 0.07 ERA, surrendering just one earned run on 26 hits in 102 innings pitched with 252 strikeouts and seven walks.

At the plate, Britton hit safely in 36 of 61 at-bats (.590) with 10 home runs, 11 doubles and 32 runs batted in.

Britton helped guide Allegany to its fourth state championship this year, as the Campers defeated Boonsboro, 9-1, in College Park to cap a 22-0 season — their second perfect campaign in three years.

As a sophomore, Britton out-dueled two-time Gatorade Player of the Year Madison Knight and Patterson Mill, 3-2, in the Class 1A title game, ending Allegany's 12-year championship drought and the Huskies' 44-game winning streak.

The honor is a welcome sight for this area, which is often overlooked for statewide awards due to its population and distance from Central Maryland.

"It brings attention to the athletes that we have in this area," Britton said. "We're a small area but we hold a lot of talent. Not only in softball but in other sports."

Britton finished her three-year career with a 46-2 win-loss record and 0.26 ERA, allowing just 10 earned runs on 66 hits in 264 innings pitched with 629 strikeouts to just 15 walks.

Her 10 career perfect games were two off the state record.

Britton, who won area Player of the Year her sophomore and junior years and is a shoo-in to make it three straight, graduates with a .599 batting average (106-177) with 29 home runs, 56 extra-base hits and 118 RBIs.

Britton joins Delaney Reefe (2023, Urbana; University of Maryland), Knight (2021-22, Patterson Mill; Syracuse University) and Maddie Penta (2019-20, Bohemia Manor; Auburn University) on the state's list of former Gatorade Player of the Year award winners.

"This is the only time I can think that anybody from Garrett or from Allegany county has got something like this, and it might never happen again," Allegany head coach Dave Winner said.

"I think it'll do a lot to help the reputation of high school softball and the quality of players and teams we produce in Western Maryland."

The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport, the press release read.

A National Honor Society member, Britton has volunteered locally with the Future Farmers of America. She has also participated in student government. Britton has maintained a 4.18 weighted GPA in the classroom.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in each sport in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport, the press release read.

As part of Gatorade's commitment to breaking down barriers in sport, every Player of the Year also receives a grant to donate to a social impact partner.

To date, the Gatorade Player of the Year program has provided more than $4.9 million in grants to winners across more than 1,900 organizations.

Alex Rychwalski is a sports reporter at the Cumberland Times-News. Follow him on Twitter @arychwal.