Gaisior de Juniata enters the elite with a sensational year | News, Sports, Jobs

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Sentinel photo by MIKE GOSS
Elizabeth Gaisior of Juniata has hit 217 batters.

MIFFLINTOWN – Few players can have an immediate impact on Diamond as a rookie.

Only a few elites have the skills to frustrate and completely dominate hitters early in their college careers, as Juniata’s Elizabeth Gaisior did, as her unique five-pitch repertoire left opposing hitters shaking their heads along the way. back to the shelter. as Gaisior hit 217 batters in his debut season with the Indians.

Seventeen strikeouts, 16 strikeouts, 19 strikeouts, 16 strikeouts, 14 strikeouts, a 15 strikeout strikeout and a dominant 24 strikeout game against East Juniata do are just a few of his incredible punch-out numbers that showcased Gaisior’s ability as one of Pennsylvania’s top pitchers last season.

Gaisior even missed some games due to contact tracing and his season was still one of the most dominant in Juniata High School history and one of the state’s best individual pitcher performances in 2021.

Juniata’s coach Erin Cressman knew Gaisior was going to make an early impact, but even she was surprised at how easily her star freshman chopped up opposing lineups.

“She was just working hard. You could tell by the way she approached each drill that she would take every opportunity to improve and that she loves softball, ” said Cressman. “We knew from day one that she was going to be a big contributor.

“After Susquenita’s game when she pitched well and hit the home run late in the sixth, I was very impressed, especially since it was her first college game in freshman.” Cressman added. “Then she followed it up with a 19 strikeout performance against (eventual state champion) Line Mountain in Game 2 and continued to bring it to every game. She is talented and very competitive and wants to do whatever she can to help her team win.

For Gaisior, just having the opportunity to compete at the university level was gratifying. The success she found was the gravy.

“It was really great to finally represent my school while playing the game that I love. “ said Gaisior. “I trusted my abilities and my years of experience in softball so I knew I was going to perform well. But, ending the season with over 200 strikeouts when I had to miss four games due to contact tracing, I will never forget.

Gaisior has been playing travel softball for years and while the strikeout numbers are gargantuan, they come with the territory of a pitcher who is meticulous in her preparation and constantly working to improve. Gaisior recorded 47 strikeouts more than the second pitcher in the Tri-Valley League competition and was among the league leaders in all pitching categories. She had an ERA just north of two runs.

“If I’m completely honest, it felt normal to me because I’ve been competing for so long. “ said Gaisior. “I just did my best not to stress over what was going on on the pitch or the performance of our sticks. I focus on whatever my job is in any game, whether it’s pitcher, first baseman, or outfield.

Gaisior’s five-ball arsenal includes a fastball, shift, drop bullet, curveball, and rising bullet. Gaisior’s innate ability to go forward with an electric fastpitch and the expertise to finish hitters with multiple different pitches have allowed her to be the dominant pitcher she was last season.

For Cressman, Gaisior’s ability to be ready to work every game and excel in any situation sets her apart in the circle.

“It is his composure and his constancy” said Cressman. “We’ve had a lot of ups and downs this year as a team, and she missed four games early on, but she kept throwing her best stuff and doing what she could to help us out. to win. She is a competitor and she pitched as if she wanted to eliminate everyone. Watching her work hard to set the tone for the rest of the squad was infectious. It encouraged everyone to do the same and they did. It’s been a fun year and this team was a great team to coach because they worked so hard and encouraged each other along the way, and that led to a lot of improvements.

As Gaisior’s strikeout numbers quickly added up, the milestones continued to drop. Around the middle of the season, 200 strikeouts easily seemed to be within the realm of possibility.

“Two hundred strikeouts were added to my goals for the season only around the middle of the season due to my increasing number of strikeouts, but I wasn’t sure if that was possible. said Gaisior. “As the season got closer and closer to the end, I was afraid of having a draw. Only one game and I might not have hit 200, but I just kept taking strikeouts. “

Gaisior struck out what was originally thought to be her 199th hitter of the season in the Indians’ home final against Newport, but a recount pushed her past the 200 strikeout mark. She then struck out 17 sticks in the regular season finale at Shamokin for good measure.

“Our second game against Newport, towards the end of the season there was actually a bad strikeout count,” said Gaisior. “My coaches told me I was just under 200, saying I finished the game with 199. I never really knew I had hit 200 strikeouts until one more day. late, when a recount has been completed. Of course when I found out I was ecstatic because that had been one of my goals for that first school season.

“After the coaches debriefed my 200th strikeout, our head coach Erin Cressman sent me a message to congratulate me. In the next practice, an announcement was made to the rest of the team and I was handed the match ball. All the coaches were proud of me and my teammates.

Cressman is still sometimes baffled when looking at his score book.

“It’s always surprising to me” said Cressman. “She’s taken out just over half of the hitters she’s faced this year (217/404), averaging over 15 per game. This is something we don’t want to take for granted, and I think our team did well. It’s a huge accomplishment, especially with the missing games. It put into perspective how amazing his season was and showed how hard work pays off. Everyone was excited for her every step of the way.

With the high school season in the rearview mirror, Gaisior focused on travel softball where she currently plays for Krunch 16U for Harrisburg’s Steve Mumma.

“After playing recreational ball locally and falling in love with softball, I switched to travel ball, and this is my fifth season with Krunch,” said Gaisior. “We travel across the United States which allows our team to play at all levels of competition. It challenges us as a team and helps us develop our skills to the next level. This year our farthest storefront is in Colorado.

Gaisior is already aiming to improve for his second season.

“Before any softball season, I set myself goals” she said. “I think one will be to break my record this season. After high school prom is over, I continue to play all year round by working on my skills and gaining even more playing experience. I am always working to improve my game, not just with pitching, but also with my strikes. and my alignment. I can’t wait to play for this team next season and see what we can do.

Cressman can’t wait to see how Gaisior responds to opposing teams who will be highly motivated to beat her.

“My goal is to help her continue to improve and grow on the pitch and as a teammate. “ said Cressman. “She has been really great this year and I am delighted to continue working with her. It will not be easy to move forward. Other teams are going to bring their A game and try to find a way to be successful against her, but I know she will be ready to face them.

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