CHICAGO (June 9, 2023) — In its 38th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Sage Mardjetko of Lemont High School is the 2022-23 Gatorade Illinois Softball Player of the Year. Mardjetko is the second Gatorade Illinois Softball Player of the Year to be chosen from Lemont 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 Mardjetko as Illinois’ best high school softball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year award to be announced in June, Mardjetko 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). Entering today’s Class 3A state semifinals (June 9), the 5-foot-10 senior right-handed pitcher owned a 21-0 record and a 0.00 ERA, leading the Indians (33-1) to the final four.
The state’s returning Gatorade Player of the Year, Mardjetko struck out 303 batters while allowing just 16 hits and 18 walks in 125.1 innings over 34 games. She fired 11 no-hitters, including two perfect games in that span, and allowed just three unearned runs all season. Ranked as the nation’s No. 10 recruit in the Class of 2023 by Extra Inning Softball, she also batted .386 with five home runs and a .754 slugging percentage. A member of the Lemont High School Athletic Council, Mardjetko has volunteered locally with Young Hearts for Life, a heart-health screening program, and as a peer tutor. “Sage is definitely one of the best pitchers I have seen in a long time,” said Vince Brown, head coach of Thornton Fractional North High School. “She knows how to throw the ball inside, outside, high or low. To me, that’s the definition of a great pitcher.” Mardjetko has maintained a weighted 4.30 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. Two-time winner Mardjetko joins recent Gatorade Illinois Softball Players of the Year Abby Dunning (2020-21, Marist High School), and Bailey Dowling (2019-20 & 2018-19, St. Joseph-Ogden 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 G
atorade’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 student-athletes, 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.