THE WINNER: Tatum Buckley
School: Masuk (Monroe, Conn.)
Athletic achievement: She led the Panthers to a 25-0 record entering the Class L state semifinals against Berlin (Conn.), scheduled for June 4. Buckley owned a 25-0 record with a 0.31 ERA and 271 strikeouts against only 14 walks in 157 innings-pitched entering the postseason round of four. She hurled 19 shutouts through 25 games. A two-time returning Class L First Team All-State selection as named by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association, Buckley also batted .546 with six home runs, 19 doubles and 27 RBI. She produced a .635 on-base percentage and 1.026 slugging percentage.
Academic excellence: Buckley has maintained a 3.44 weighted GPA.
Exemplary character: In addition to serving as manager of the school’s field hockey team, she has donated her time as a youth softball and basketball instructor.
“She’s tremendous on the field,” said Mike Siksay, head coach of rival Bunnell (Stratfrod, Conn.). “She wins with dignity and carries herself with confidence. We had a few hits off her, which was surprising, and she didn’t get rattled one bit. She’s a tough opponent. I’ve become a fan of her when we’re not playing against her. She’s very formidable. She deserves every recognition she can get. She’s unbelievable.”
THE FUTURE: Buckley has verbally committed to Florida Atlantic.