Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Connecticut Softball POY: Kelli Connors
By Ben Rohrbach
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade Softball Player of the Year selection process, resulting in this winner based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011-12 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.
For her 48 fellow Gatorade State Softball Player of the Year winners, click here.
Gatorade Player of the Year
See which other top high school student-athletes have earned Gatorade Player of the Year honors for 2011-12.
Athletic achievement: Connors led the Lancers to a 24-1 record entering the Class M state semifinals, scheduled for June 5. A two-time returning Class M All-State selection as named by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association, she owned a 20-1 record in the circle with a 0.87 ERA and 151 strikeouts in 137 innings pitched entering the state final four. Also the returning All-Area Player of the Year, Connors batted .379 with one home run and 19 RBI through 25 games. A member of Waterford’s 2009 and 2010 Class M state championship teams, she entered the state tournament with a 67-4 career pitching record.
Academic excellence: Also a volleyball standout, Connors has maintained a 3.04 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: In addition to donating her time as a youth softball instructor, she has volunteered as a physical education teacher’s assistant at The Friendship School and on behalf of The Colby Sousa Scholarship Fund.
“She’s a hard-working kid,” said Kate Peruzzotti, head coach at rival Fitch (Groton, Conn.). “What I admire most about her is how well she’s done over the past four years -- just the growth has been amazing, how she’s dominated in the circle over her entire high school career. It says a lot about her. She’s been remarkable.”
THE FUTURE: Connors has signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball on scholarship at Florida Southern College this fall.