On Monday afternoon, something occurred in high school athletics that had never been done before in Arizona High School softball history.
1,000 career strikeouts for a player since the pitching rubber was moved back from 40 to 43 feet.
Horizon High School’s Tamara “T” Statman became the first to do so in Horizon’s 4-2 win over Boulder Creek on Monday. She came into the game needing just three, and she accomplished it in the first two innings.
“Wow another strikeout,” joked Statman after being asked how she felt after reaching the 1,000 mark. “Strikeouts are awesome but if you don’t win, they don’t help you out a lot. My goal is to just keep getting outs and keep getting outs and helping my team achieve a win.”
Humbled by the milestone, Statman never thought when first putting on a Horizon uniform that such a feat would be attainable. As mentioned, this has not happened since the rule change to move back the pitching rubber so it makes the accomplishment that much more special.
“It has definitely been super cool especially because of the pitching change from 40 to 43 feet,” she explained. “It has been different, it has changed the game a lot and it is amazing that I have gotten the opportunities by all my coaches to reach this milestone.”
But there is more to every strikeout that Statman throws than getting an opposing hitter out. With every strikeout, she is helping raise money for the Arizona Skin Cancer Foundation by taking pledges for at least $0.05 per strikeout. Skin Cancer has drastically impacted Statman’s family and she has also had to be proactive by going to the demonologist every six months and wearing long sleeves for every game she is in. While etching her name into Arizona Softball history for strikeouts is one thing, raising money for a foundation that directly impacts her and her family’s future makes each K that much more exciting.
“It’s probably one of the greatest feelings that you can get that you are giving money toward a cause,” stated Statman. “Trying to make other people’s lives better because if I am able to participate in something like this, I want to be able to help other people.”
Statman to go with her 1,000 K’s is also a third degree black belt which says helps with her mental toughness on the rubber, she has a 4.049 grade point average and will be playing softball at one of the best programs in the country at the next level, Mike Candrea and the Arizona Wildcats.
For more on T’s story, check out the following video and how you can help raise money for skin cancer: