Sara Simonar has logged a lot of hours inside the pitcher’s circle.
It has been time well spent for the Luxemburg-Casco senior right-hander.
Simonar has totaled 402 strikeouts with a 1.80 ERA over 481 innings for the L-C softball team. The four-year starter has pitched all but 12 innings in going 52-26 during her high school career, which includes leading the Spartans to the WIAA Division 2 sectional finals as a sophomore and earning first-team all-Bay Conference honors as a junior.
Simonar has been dominant during her senior season, totaling 110 strikeouts with a 0.94 ERA over 97 innings in going 14-2 for L-C, which is ranked No. 6 in D2 and has a one game lead in the Bay with three conference games remaining.
Away from the softball diamond, Simonar is an honor roll student and member of FBLA, art club, traveling math team and school yearbook. She plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay to major in business administration and minor in accounting.
Simonar discusses pitching and the family business in this week’s senior spotlight.
You’ve made a name for yourself as a pitcher. But on Tuesday you hit a pair of home runs in a 5-1 win against New London. What is more thrilling for you, a big hit or a big strikeout?
Probably the pitching because I’ve worked a lot harder for it. Pitching I’ve worked every day for how many years now, so I think it’s more of that, that I get excited about.
You plan to study business and accounting at UWGB. Why do those fields interest you?
I like math. I like how it’s like black and white. There is a problem and you can solve it. There is an answer to it.
You’ve put up some remarkable pitching numbers during your high school career. Is there one that you’re particular proud of?
I don’t look at my stats often. I just go out and do my best.
What did you get your mom for Mother’s Day?
I made a jewelry box for my mom (Karen) for Mother’s Day. The bottom is a mirror. I put hinges on it, so it opens. I made a flower out of glass as well and put that on top of it. I like doing artsy stuff. One of my newest things is working with stained glass. I really enjoy doing that.
Simonar Sports Inc. in Luxemburg is a fifth-generation family business your dad (Paul) helps run. Would I be correct in assuming you enjoy riding ATVs, snowmobiles and watercrafts?
All that stuff, I do it all.
People usually associate fun and pleasure with motor sports. Having grown up in the industry, what’s something people might not know that goes into running a successful business like your family has?
It’s definitely a lot of work. My dad has to go and get recertified all the time. There is more that goes into it than what people would think. Everything is changing and evolving, so he has to learn new stuff all the time.
What’s something you’ve learned as a pitcher over the years?
The last couple of years I’ve been learning the rise ball. I like doing that because it’s funny to see girls swing at ones that are a foot above their head.
What’s the biggest improvement you’ve made since your freshman year?
This year I’ve noticed I have a lot more movement on my pitches, so they’re doing what they are supposed to be doing. Whereas, my freshman year it was more about just learning the pitches.
What is your most embarrassing moment playing softball?
This year, when we were at Oconto Falls, I had a line drive hit back at me. It hit my glove, but I didn’t catch it, and I made a really funny noise when it did. I was really embarrassed after that. Everybody was laughing.
Who would be the star of a reality TV show based on the L-C softball team?
Cassie Dart. She cracks jokes all the time and is the lively one that everyone looks to and laughs about. She’s always rambunctious and willing to talk and be out there.
Which teammate would do the best trapped on a deserted island?
Probably Alysha Andrews. She’s so prepared all the time. She always has food. Some people on the team call her mom.
Which teammate would you take on road trip across the country?
Madysen Thayse. She’s easy to get along with, and I always go to her with things. I enjoy having her around.
Who is the most superstitious on the team?
(Coach Don) Schoen is really superstitious about things. We got new pants this year, and he didn’t want them. They were a different style and different color. He didn’t like them.
How many times do you think you’ve seen your first name spelled with an ‘h’ at the end?
Too many to count. It’s funny because they’ll spell (senior teammate) Sarah Kinnard’s without the ‘h’ and mine will have the ‘h.’
What would you change about your school?
The time school starts because I don’t like getting up so early to come here for my first class (starts at 7:41 a.m.). Other than that, I really like it here.
If you were in charge of the WIAA, what rule change would you make for softball?
Maybe the amount of strikes because then I could bat more. Sometimes you just make a silly mistake or you see the pitch wrong and you swing when you don’t really mean to.
But wouldn’t that make it harder for you as a pitcher?
When I’m batting only I guess. That wouldn’t be good when I’m pitching.
TV show: “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette.”
Movie: “The Little Rascals.”
Athlete: Randall Cobb.
Did you know?
Simonar can play the piano.
“I can remember back to the summer before her freshman year. This little gal came out and pitched for us in a summer tournament in Allouez. To watch her development as a pitcher since has just been unbelievable. The work she has put in, and the fact that she can be very stoic out there, allows her to stay in control at all times.”
– Luxemburg-Casco softball coach Tom Giachino