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Play Ball! Minnesota Mr. Baseball and Ms. Softball Awards

In 2010, the Minnesota Minute Men and Play Ball! Minnesota began honoring the top Minnesota high school senior athlete in baseball and softball. Originally called the Mr. Baseball and Ms. Softball Award, the award was re-named the Play Ball! Minnesota Mr. Baseball and Ms. Softball Award in 2012 to recognize the support from Play Ball! Minnesota.

Each spring, finalists are nominated by high school and college coaches as well as professional scouts. Many athletic and character attributes are considered by the nominating panel, and these players represent the best players in the state. The award winners are announced at a banquet honoring the achievements of these top athletes, and the winners are honored at a Twins game by throwing out a ceremonial first pitch.

2018 Play Ball! Minnesota Mr. Baseball and Ms. Softball awards were presented to Seth Halvorsen of Heritage Christian Academy and Emily Hansen from Buffalo High School.

In 2018, Seth Halvorsen was the leading force behind Heritage Christian Academy's first state championship. The two-way star ended his career by hitting two home runs and pitching a shutout, including 16 strikeouts, in the state championship game. For the year, Halvorsen's batting average was .422 with a 1.273 OPS. He had three home runs and 25 RBI to go with 29 stolen bases. As good as he was as a hitter, he was an even better pitcher. Halvorsen pitched in 11 games and finished with a minuscule 0.94 ERA in 52 innings pitched. Perhaps the biggest indicator of his dominance was his 16 strikeouts per seven innings. Halvorsen was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 30th round of the Major League Draft, but will instead honor his commitment to the University of Missouri.

Buffalo's Emily Hansen was the most feared hitter in the state in 2018. In 24 games, Hansen collected 28 hits including an astounding 16 home runs. She also scored 37 runs and drove in 38 in helping her Buffalo squad make the state tournament. Hansen was often pitched around and reached base via a walk 25 times, including 13 intentional walks. She finished her final season at Buffalo with a .475 batting average, .573 on-base percentage, and 1.356 OPS. Hansen was named first-team all-state as well as the Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year and the Gatorade Player of the Year. The standout shortstop will attend the University of Minnesota and play softball for Golden Gophers.

2018 Award Winners

  • Mr. Baseball Seth Halvorsen
    Heritage Christian Academy
  • Ms. Softball Emily Hansen
    Buffalo

2017 Award Winners

  • Mr. Baseball Sam Carlson
    Burnsville
  • Ms. Softball Amber Elliot
    Anoka

2016 Award Winners

  • Mr. Baseball Matt Wallner
    Forest Lake
  • Ms. Softball Katelyn Kemmetmueller
    Rogers

2015 Award Winners

  • Mr. Baseball Eddie Estrada
    Litchfield
  • Ms. Softball Maddie Damon
    Kasson-Mantorville

2014 Award Winners

  • Mr. Baseball Brad Mathiowetz
    Rochester Mayo
  • Ms. Softball Erika Rozell
    Lakeville North

2013 Award Winners

  • Mr. Baseball Logan Shore
    Coon Rapids High School
  • Ms. Softball Samantha Hartmann
    Orono High School

2012 Award Winners

  • Mr. Baseball Mitch Brown
    Rochester Century High School
  • Ms. Softball Nikki Anderson
    Brainerd High School

2011 Award Winners

  • Mr. Baseball Austin Malinowski
    Centennial High School
  • Ms. Softball Kelsey Anderson
    Burnsville High School

2010 Award Winners

  • Mr. Baseball Chris Anderson
    Centennial High School
  • Ms. Softball Sara Moulton
    Eagan High School