SAYREVILLE – While a number of factors including the weather and scheduling circumstances have limited the Sayreville War Memorial High School softball team to only five games so far this season, when the Bombers have taken the field, their senior ace Erin Fitzsimmons has been lights out more often than not.
With Sayreville off to a 4-1 start, Fitzsimmons’ presence in the circle has been a big key to the success.
Since taking over as the team’s ace as a sophomore, following in the footsteps of her older sister Kristen, Fitzsimmons helped lead the team to the finals of the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament that season and two years later, has emerged as one of the league’s top pitchers.
“I’ve been working really hard and I hope to continue to do really good as the team does too,” Fitzsimmons said.
Over her past three starts the senior has struck out 38 and walked just five over 21 innings, allowing only eight hits and one earned run, as she won all three decisions.
Fitzsimmons was near-untouchable this past week for the Bombers. She went 3-0, striking out 38 and walking five over 21 innings. She allowed only eight hits over that span and gave up just one earned run. She threw consecutive shutouts against Piscataway and Spotswood, two Top 10 teams. She also collected two hits at the plate in the Piscataway and Spotswood wins.
“The beginning, I think all the pitchers struggle a little bit with their control, but now she’s in the zone,” Sayreville coach Christa DeLucia said. “She’s feeling really comfortable and confident and anxious getting.”
Key cogs surrounding Fitzsimmons on the diamond have been a trio of juniors in third baseman Christina Misiur, shortstop/catcher Rebecca Wehrle, and outfielder Mary Kate Kersting.
Kersting leads the team with nine hits, as she’s hitting .474 with five doubles and seven RBI while Misiur is hitting .375 with six RBI.
A freshman in Kayla Stvan has also stepped up and emerged, as she’s seeing time behind the plate and has built a strong impression on Fitzsimmons quickly.
With a strong nucleus that’s been together for a few years now and a good early start behind a strong ace, Sayreville’s hoping they can continue this steam into the stretch part of the season and make a deep postseason run.
“We need to continue to get runners across the plate so when we get somebody on we can drive them in,” DeLucia said. “With Erin pitching, that’s pretty solid. The key is going to be to get the runner across the plate. Hopefully, I tell Erin, not only is she striking people out but she’s got the defense behind her so trusting the team, trusting each other, and hopefully this will end really well for us.”
Sayreville is scheduled to host J.P. Stevens on Thursday, presuming the weather holds up.
Staff writer Mike Becker: mbecker@GannettNJ.com