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Game Review: Oregon vs. Florida State

Welcome to the first ever Fastpitch Power post-game review! Here, we will take a look at all of the great NCAA softball games and analyze how each of the teams, specifically the pitchers, performed! Today we take a look at the incredible game three that took place between the Oregon Ducks and the Florida State Seminoles.

Screen-Shot-2013-08-01-at-2.28.04-PM Print

The Ducks handed the ball to freshman pitcher Miranda Elish for the start and she came in strong with an immediate 1-2-3 inning. Elish fires the ball at anywhere around 70 MPH, and keeps batters off balance with a killer change-up. Elish excels at hitting her spots and can switch easily between the inside and outside part of the plate with her fastball, and really showed off her screw-ball in tonights game. You might notice that Elish lifts her drive through foot up instead of bringing it all the way through to the other foot. Her core strength allows her to do that without losing any front side resistance. She might find that if she pulled that foot all the way through on the ground, she might gain even more MPH behind her already impressive pitch speed. Still, we have to say, GREAT performance by the freshman to get through a complete 7 innings, allowing only 1 run after a strange bobble/error on a outfield single.

Despite her outstanding performance, Coach White decided to pull Elish and start Megan Kleist (who in the first game of the series was completely dominant in the 11-0 win) in top of the 8th, but unfortunately Kleist quickly gave up 2 big hits to leave a runner on first and third with no outs. So, in comes the second freshman, Maggie Balint. We cannot get enough of this girl! Balint started her collegiate career so well that she’s landed herself a spot on the list of nominees for not only Freshman of the Year, but also Player of the Year, the only Freshman on that list. After struggling with accuracy the past few weekends, Balint came in and dominated. She pitched all 7 innings in game 2 of the series and led her team to a 3-1 victory, but it was her performance in game 3 that has us so impressed. Coming in with runners on first and third and no outs, Balint managed to strike out the dangerous Alex Powers, force an unsuccessful suicide squeeze and also forced the third out to get out of a huge jam. She struck out three in the following inning to hold the Seminoles once again. Balint can also bring the speed in the upper 60’s, but the spin on her screw-ball and rise-ball are what really keep the batters off balance. Our opinion and tip: If Balint could master a change-up and add it to her already impressive arsenal in the off season, she would be untouchable.

The Seminoles threw all of their pitchers over the course of the weekend, but the ever impressive Jessica Burroughs got the start in game three and for good reason. Burroughs has been one of the best pitchers in the nation all year, which showed when she was chosen as the number one pick in the NPF draft. Burroughs also managed to shut down number one seeded Florida in the majority of an 11 inning win last week. The spin that Burroughs puts on the ball is devastating. We sometimes watch her pitch, and the ball doesn’t look like it has much speed at all, and yet the batters just keep missing! Swinging right over and under the ball, they just can’t get their bats on it. It’s because of the insane amount of spin she puts on every single pitch. She also has smooth, simple mechanics that make her even more effective, because the ball explodes out of her hand in a way that does not match the smoothness and relaxedness of her pitching motion. Very confusing for batters! Burroughs held the ducks scoreless and HITLESS for 5 innings until the game was finally tied. She continued to keep batters off balance for 9 innings until a double and a sac fly ended the game in favor of the Ducks. Despite the loss, Burroughs is certain to be a force in the post season.

As the regular season winds down and tournament play begins, keep visiting the website, and look out for more post-game reviews!

About the author

Jill

Jillian Stephens is a former top ranked east coast NCAA pitching recruit. She graduated from New Rochelle High School and Villanova University. She played gold level softball with several teams including the Virginia Shamrocks and the Morris County Belles prior to college, and continued to play Division 1 softball at Villanova. She was a student in physical therapy at Harcum College in Pennsylvania, and is familiar with injuries, rehabilitation, and strength and conditioning. She also instructs in Phil Schonberg's pitching clinics and gives many private lessons in the Philadelphia area.

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