THE WINNER: Makenzie Prince
School: Smyrna (Tenn.)
Athletic achievement: She led the Bulldogs to a 40-10 record and the Class AAA state championship this past season. Prince posted a 37-6 record with a 0.83 ERA and 370 strikeouts in 252 innings-pitched. The Pitcher of the Year as named by the Daily News Journal, she also batted .401 with five home runs and 31 RBI. Prince scored 34 runs in addition to producing a 1.060 OPS. In the Class AAA state tournament, she finished 4-0 with a 0.45 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 31 innings-pitched.
Academic excellence: Prince has maintained a 3.91 GPA.
Exemplary character: A member of the DECA, the Mu Alpha Theta mathematics honor society, the National Beta Club, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Rotary International’s Interact club, she has volunteered locally as a peer tutor, on behalf of her church and as part of a holiday gift-giving campaign. Prince has also donated her time as a youth softball instructor.
“When you think of an athlete you want to represent you, Makenzie Prince is the epitome,” said Tory Atwood, head coach of rival Blackman (Murfreesboro, Tenn.). “She is an amazing pitcher that has a ridiculous work ethic. She has to be told multiple times to stop pitching, because she will not stop until every pitch is perfect. She moves the ball well and has the speed to blow it past hitters as well. Makenzie also gets the job done at the plate. She hits consistently, and when the game is on the line she comes through.”
THE FUTURE: Prince will be a senior next year.