Player to Watch: Tateum Valentine, John Jay-EF
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The last two seasons at John Jay-East Fishkill rank among the best ever in Section 1 softball. The group won a state championship in 2011 and repeated as sectional champs this spring.
As far as moments go, one of the best belongs to Tateum Valentine.
The standout shortstop put an exclamation points on a brilliant junior season by delivering a walk-off RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to beat arch-rival Ketcham in the championship game.
“Clutch,” John Jay coach Bonnie Schilling said that night. “And she’s been clutch all year.”
Being clutch has pretty much become the trademark for Valentine, who’ll enter the 2013 softball season as arguably the best player in Section 1.
As a junior, she earned first-team MSG Varsity all-Hudson Valley honors, and was also named first team all-state for the Patriots, who went 20-1 and reached the state quarterfinals.
Valentine, who’s already committed to play at Siena College, hit .493 this season with eight homers, 20 RBI and 29 runs scored. She had an on-base percentage of 525 and slugged .880, all while playing flawlessly at shortstop.
Valentine, a starter since she was a freshman, has hit over .400 each varsity season. This spring, Valentine headlines a John Jay squad that returns a solid core with pitcher Vicky Lattanzio and top hitters Gabby Bracchi and Andrea Varvara.
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