Barlow’s Abby Ota has been selected the 2020 Gatorade Connecticut Softball Player of the Year. Ota is the first selection from Barlow.
The award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Gatorade had announced earlier this spring that it would continue to acknowledge student-athletes even if spring sports were canceled, which it was in every state.
Ota, a 5-foot-3 junior shortstop batted .500 at the PGF Premier 18U Nationals last summer and was named a First Team All-American by Extra Inning Softball. Ota led the state in hitting with a .725 average for the Falcons (17-7) during the 2019 high school season, also scoring 44 runs and stealing 38 bases without being thrown out.
She was a First Team All-State selection and ranks as the nation’s No. 81 prospect in the Class of 2021 by Extra Inning Softball.
Also a basketball standout, Ota has volunteered locally on behalf of youth softball programs and her school’s Safe Rides program.
“Abby is an absolute terror on offense,” Barlow coach Craig Sears said. “Everybody knows exactly what she’s going to do, but she’s hard to stop. She has incredible speed, but it’s not just that — she has great baserunning ability, and she really knows how to play the game.”
Ota has maintained a 3.11 GPA in the classroom. She will begin her senior year of high school this fall.