Merced's Madilyn Nickles Wins National Award

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Gatorade surprised Merced's Madilyn Nickles Wednesday making her its National Player of the Year. (KFSN)

Less than a week after winning Gatorade's California Softball Player of the Year the sports drink giant surprised Merced's Madilyn Nickles Wednesday making her its National Player of the Year.

Led by two-time Olympian and softball legend Jennie Finch-- Gatorade surprised Nickles at the North Valley campus during practice, and the girl nicknamed "Bubba" had no idea.

Action news caught up with the UCLA-bound softball star by phone after her award ceremony and needless to say, Madilyn was a little excited.


Per Gatorade:

2015-16 Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year

  • The 5-foot-8 senior right-handed pitcher and shortstop compiled a 20-5 record in the circle along with a 0.63 ERA this past season, leading the Bears (22-7) to the semifinals of the Sac-Joaquin Division I Tournament in the one-loss elimination bracket.

  • Nickles struck out 308 batters in 167.1 innings pitched, allowing 81 hits and issuing just 28 walks en route to nine shutouts and three no-hitters. At the plate, she batted .552 with 20 doubles, eight home runs and 27 RBI to finish with a 1.126 slugging percentage and zero strikeouts in 104 plate appearances.

  • She was the only junior on the 2015 USA Junior National Team and she was the only high-school-age player invited to train with the 2016 USA Women's National Elite Team.

  • Nickles has maintained a 3.97 GPA in the classroom. She has volunteered locally as part of multiple community-service initiatives through her school's Rotary International Interact Club.

  • She has also donated her time generously to youth players, serving as a volunteer assistant for the past four years with both ASA Development Camps as well as Nike Softball Camps. In addition, she has coached and advised area U-12 to U-14 players on an individual basis and served as an instructor at USA Softball Youth Camps.

  • Nickles has signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball on an athletic scholarship at UCLA beginning this fall.

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