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Rheault named Gatorade ND Player of Year

West Fargo’s Brittany Rheault was named Gatorade’s Player of the Year for North Dakota softball. She is the third straight Packer to win the award. (David Samson / Forum News Service)

West Fargo pitcher Brittany Rheault was named the 2012-13 Gatorade North Dakota Softball Player of the Year.

The junior is the third consecutive Packer to win the award. Sydney Greenlund claimed the award in 2012 and Kacie Johnson won it in both 2010 and 2011.

“It’s definitely an honor,” Rheault said. “It was exciting when I heard it. Sydney and Kacie won it before, so it’s really nice to carry on that tradition.”

Rheault played a big role in the Packers’ 25-2 record and their 16th straight North Dakota state championship two weeks ago. As a pitcher, she finished with a 14-1 record, a 0.96 ERA and 152 strikeouts in 95 innings pitched.

Offensively, she hit .395 with two home runs – one of them in the state tournament – and 27 RBIs.

In the state championship game, Rheault pitched a three-hit shutout with 16 strikeouts in a 1-0 win over Bishop Ryan.

“With everything that’s happened in past week -- with state and Jolene winning EDC senior athlete of the year -- this was an added bonus to the whole thing. It was really the cherry on top of a great season.”

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in each sport in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. Past state award-winners include New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love and Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore.

The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA Today High School Sports.