CHICAGO (June 9, 2023) — In its 38th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Reganne Bennett of Novi High School is the 2022-23 Gatorade Michigan Softball Player of the Year.
Bennett is the first Gatorade Michigan Softball Player of the Year to be chosen from Novi 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 Bennett as Michigan’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, Bennett joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Jordyn Bahl (2020-21, Papillion-La Vista High School, Neb.), Megan Faraimo (2017-18, Cathedral Catholic High School, Calif.), Rachel Garcia (2014-15, Highland High School, Calif.) and Cat Osterman (2000-01, Cypress Spring High School, Texas).
The 5-foot-10 senior right-handed pitcher and first baseman batted .598 with 18 home runs and 20 doubles this past season, leading the Wildcats (25-12-1) to the Division 1, District 19 tournament final. Bennett scored 60 runs and drove in 63 while posting a .664 on-base percentage and a 1.295 slugging percentage. In the circle, she posted an 11-5 record with a 1.12 ERA, fanning 239 in 131.2 innings pitched.
She is ranked as the nation’s No. 18 recruit in the Class of 2023 by Extra Inning Softball. Bennett has volunteered locally with the Novi High School Unified Basketball team, a program that empowers individuals with and without intellectual disabilities to engage through the power of sports. She has also donated her time as an elementary school classroom aide.
“When you face Reganne, your team better be firing on all cylinders,” said Scott Pasini, head coach of Howell High School. “On the mound, she is a dominant pitcher who doesn’t allow many runs. At the plate, she is equally as dominant.”
Bennett has maintained a weighted 4.06 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a national letter of intent to play softball on scholarship at the University of South Carolina this fall. The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport.
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. Bennett joins recent Gatorade Michigan Softball Players of the Year Ava Bradshaw (2021-22, South Lyon High School), Kali Heivilin (2020-21, Three Rivers High School), Gabi Salo (2019-20, Escanaba High School), and Lauren Esman (2018-19, Gull Lake High School), among the state’s list of former award winners. Being a Gatorade Player of the Year means paying it forward for the next generation.
Through Gatorade’s Play it Forward initiative, every Player of the Year receives a grant to give to one of Gatorade’s social impact partners, supporting Gatorade’s ambition to fuel the future of sport. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations. For nearly 40 years, Gatorade has honored high school athletes at the top of their game as teammates, supporting their communities and achieving academic success. From CEOs and coaches to star athletes and community leaders, Gatorade Player of the Year winners showcase the power of sport.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate studentathletes, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com or follow us on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY, Instagram at instagram.com/Gatorade and Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade