The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

August 2, 2013

Pitcher slings way to Lake Erie

Geneva grad headed to Division II school

By BOB ETTINGER
For the Star Beacon

— Amy Pitcher didn’t give much thought to playing softball at the college level until colleges began showing her a bit a interest. That interest turned into the Geneva graduate playing the sport she loves while attending Lake Erie.

“I got a call from the coaches and they asked me to check out the school,” Pitcher, the daughter of Eleshia and Bill Pitcher, said. “I wanted a smaller school, I really liked the coaches and it’s close to home.

“(I started thinking playing in college was possible) when the coaches started calling me,” Pitcher said. “After a few coaches had called me, I figured I could play for a Division II school. I didn’t really think about it before that. I wasn’t really worried about going to college before that. I was worried about how far my team would get in the tournament.”

Pitcher’s decision was finalized late, after her senior season came to its conclusion.

“I kind of knew where I was going to go, but I didn’t everything finalized until until the end of the school year,” Pitcher said.

Pitcher will pursue a degree in forensic accounting.

“I took an accounting class in school and really wanted to be in forensics,” she said. “It kind of worked itself out.

“I’m pretty good with accounting. I just thought it would be interesting.”

All of the work Pitcher put in over the years paid off.

“It’s exciting because I put a lot of work in to get where I am,” she said. “I didn’t just do it over night.

“I started really pitching in seventh grade. That’s when I started going to lessons twice a week every winter.”

That’s where pitching coach Steve Bykowski stepped in.

“My pitching coach helped out a lot,” Pitcher said. “He helped me a lot. I wouldn’t be where I am now without him helping me.”

What took Pitcher to the next level, however, was learning that she could only control so much while in the circle.

“I wasn’t always that way,” she said.

“My mom always told me I could only control my part of the game. I can only do my part. She tried telling me that before, but I just didn’t listen to her.”

Being a pitcher is right in Pitcher’s wheelhouse.

“I like being in control of the game,” she said.

Playing for her mom in high school was a good experience for Pitcher.

“It was cool to be able to play for her all four years,” Pitcher said.

Erasing doubts outsiders had was a big factor in Pitcher developing her skills.

“It probably helped a lot that people didn’t think I should be there,” she said. “It made me work harder so I could prove I did belong.

“It definitely motivated me to get better.”

Going to school so close to home and being able commute will be a help to Pitcher.

“Staying home means a lot,” she said. “I know (my family) is always going to be there.”

Ettinger is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.