Sunday, July 3, 2016
Pitching can be a lonely place on the field. All eyes focus to the mound on every single pitch. Half of the stadium is hoping for failure and the other half is praying for perfection. A pitcher has to have the skill to pitch and execute each throw with precision. In addition to a strong arm, a pitcher must be very tough mentally to endure the constant pressures the game presents.
On July 2, 2016 during the ASA Hall of Fame Championship game against Impact Gold DFW 03, Elizabeth Schaefer accomplished something few others her age has, and sent her 1500th batter back to the dugout with an outside fastball on a full count. The 04 Texas Travelers ended up winning the championship game 8-0.
Elizabeth who turned 12 in March has been pitching since she was 9 years old. Her pitching coach, Rick Lee has helped her develop a Fastball, Drop Ball, Curve, Rise and nasty Flip Change. Schaefer has been clocked recently in games as well as a college showcase camp with a Fastball that reaches 59 mph and can come back with her flip change as slow as 37 mph leaving batters scratching their heads as they take the slow walk back to the dugout. She has logged 20 no-hitters including a complete perfect game where she struck out every batter she faced in the game against one of the 03 Glory teams.
During last year’s 2015 ASA/USA National Championship in Normal, Illinois; Schaefer pitched a nine inning game striking out an ASA National Record 18 batters helping the 04 Texas Travelers to a 3rd place finish in one of the most prestigious tournaments in the country. When you add her WHIP (Walks plus Hits given up per inning pitched) she has a state best of .83 and batters are hitting less than .148 against her. Even more impressive is she rarely walks a batter averaging 1 base on balls for every 25 batters she strikes out, and she is striking out 1.25 batters an inning.
Schaefer was dominate in 10u softball where you can get away with having a great fastball. However, where most pitchers struggle their first year of 12u Softball; Elizabeth continues to excel with the extra movement on her pitches changing speeds quite effectively. She has had to learn to really pitch and understand the mental part of the game. “In 12u, we have asked Elizabeth to utilize her drop ball which produces a lot of groundball outs. This has cut into her strikeout totals. However, she does this without hesitation and that is one of the things that makes her a great teammate” states, Head Coach of the Travelers, Kyle Bennett.
E, as she is known to her teammates and fans, also plays for the Sunnyvale High School team which plays other high school softball teams around the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. This soon to be 7th grader enjoys the challenge facing older girls who are used to facing strong pitching. “I don’t really look at a batter at being tough. I just pitch to where the pitch is called and try to do what the coach ask me to do” shares Elizabeth Schaefer.
Her goals are pretty straight forward. She wants to help her Texas Travelers win Nationals where they will be playing in Branson, Missouri this year. When she enters Rockwall High School, she would like to win a State Championship or two. Of course, she has two more years before entering high school.
She would like to be recruited and play for a D1 College helping them to a National Championship. Then her ultimate goal is to be chosen as one of the top 18 girls to represent the United States playing for Team USA. To accomplish these goals; Elizabeth knows there is a lot of work that still has to be done. She knows she will have to increase her velocity into the upper 60’s and continue to understand how and what pitch she should deliver to tough batters. At 5’8” and a young 12 year old, Elizabeth is still growing which will allow her to increase her strength helping her achieve this criteria. She has yet maximized her leap, but once she masters this, her velocity will increase even more. In addition to her physical abilities; Elizabeth also makes the grades in school recently finishing in the top five of her class while playing club volleyball, select softball, and league basketball and participating in band and choir.
Elizabeth is a pretty special player and sure to be seen at a higher level in the future if she continues to put in the work. Elizabeth loves everything that comes with pitching on the mound and enjoys her team looking to her to deliver excellent results.