Southwest’s Emma Kauf named Nebraska’s Gatorade Softball Player of the Year

Courtesy: Gatorade Communications

In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Emma Kauf of Lincoln Southwest High School as its 2018-19 Gatorade Nebraska Softball Player of the Year. Kauf is the third Gatorade Nebraska Softball Player of the Year to be chosen from Lincoln Southwest High School.

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 Kauf as Nebraska’s best high school softball player.

Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year award to be announced in June, Kauf joins an elite alumni association of past state softball award-winners, including Catherine Osterman (2000-01, Cy Spring High School, Texas), Kelsey Stewart (2009-10, Arkansas City High School, Kan.), Carley Hoover (2012-13 D.W. Daniel High School, S.C.), Jenna Lilley (2012-13, Hoover High School, Ohio), Morgan Zerkle (2012-13 Cabell Midland High School, W. Va.), and Rachel Garcia (2014-15, Highland High School, Calif.).

The 5-foot-8 senior and catcher led the Silver Hawks (39-5) to the Class A state championship this past season. Named honorary captain of the Lincoln Journal Star Super-State team and also a two-time First Team Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska selection, Kauf batted .570 with 22 home runs, 60 RBI and a state single-season record 81 runs scored. She also set state career records for home runs (59), RBI (214) and runs (236). Kauf has volunteered locally on behalf of People’s City Mission, the Nebraska Humane Society, blood-donation drives and youth sports camps.

“I think Emma Kauf was the best all-around offensive player in the state,” said Bryan Shepherd, head coach at Kearney High. “She was also huge defensively, shutting down the running game and blocking everything in the dirt. It would have been hard (for them) to win a state championship without her.”

Kauf has maintained a weighted 4.31 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball on scholarship at Georgia Tech this fall.

Kauf joins recent Gatorade Nebraska Softball Players of the Year Courtney Wallace (2017-18, Papillion-La Vista High School), Rylie Unzicker (2016-17, Millard South High School), Samantha Dellinger (2015-16, Papillion-La Vista High School), Erin Lockhart (2014-15, Lincoln Southeast High School) and Kaylan Jablonski (2013-14, Skutt Catholic High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.