Julie Fonda tells a funny story about Jane Trzaska's college recruitment.
It seems a summer ago the Armstrong Atlantic softball coach called Fonda, Glenbard South's coach, and asked for Trzaska's pitching stats. Here's the hitch -- Trzaska almost never saw the mound for her high school team and had no stats to speak of.
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"The last couple years, I've just been spoiled with pitching. It's allowed me to play Jane at other positions," Fonda said. "I told their coach she catches, she's also my best first baseman, my best left fielder, my best third baseman, she's bat fourth for me since freshman year -- I could put her anywhere. She's not just a pitcher."
Trzaska's proving to be a pretty darn good pitcher, though.
The Raiders senior struck out 11 Saturday, two-hitting Wheaton Warrenville South and also driving in 3 runs in No. 13 Glenbard South's 5-1 win in Wheaton.
Trzaska (4-0), who primarily pitches during the summer for the Illinois Hawks and was recruited to pitch, struck out 38 batters in four starts this week.
"She's a phenomenal pitcher," Fonda said. "She reminds me a lot of her sister Jill on the mound. The moxie is there. She's confident that whatever she's going to throw, she'll hit the spot."
Trzaska was on her game Saturday, allowing just 2 hits and a walk until 2 errors led to a harmless unearned run in the seventh. A disappearing changeup seemed to have WW South's hitters off stride.
"It really throws off the batters and makes me a better pitcher," Trzaska said, and Fonda noted, "it was on today, a money pitch."
At the plate Trzaska continued to do damage. A day after an 8-RBI game against Montini, Trzaska singled in a pair of runs in the second inning, then hit a frozen rope double into the left-field corner in the fifth to score Hannah Taylor for a 3-0 lead.
Danielle Scarpiniti singled in Trzaska, then singled again in the seventh to score Ashton Cattenhead to give Glenbard South (5-0) a 5-0 lead.
Trzaska and Taylor both went 3-for-4. They are two veterans Fonda is leaning on while breaking in seven new starters on last year's Class 3A champs.
"They've been great leaders, setting the bar and raising expectations for those kids," Fonda said. "It takes a while, but the younger kids, they're getting there."
Cameron Briggs singled and later reached on an error and scored WW South's only run. The Tigers (1-4) have been shut out twice already this season. Coach Jeff Pawlak said the approach must improve.
"We're just inconsistent. With the amount of called third strikes, I think we were just guessing out there," Pawlak said. "We're working hard in practice. We just have to get better."
WW South also gave Glenbard South extra outs with an error in the 2-run second and dropped foul pop-up in the 2-run fifth, poison against the opportunistic Raiders.
"Unfortunately that's been the story of our season so far," Pawlak said. "It's been walks, errors, untimely hitting, it's been a little bit of everything. All phases just haven't clicked yet."