Junior softball pitcher Carly DeRose is currently in the middle of her most successful collegiate season. DeRose is 5-4 with a 1.35 ERA and pitched a complete game three-hit shutout her last time out against Clarion University.
DeRose received 893 votes on theonlinerocket.com poll, the most of any nominee in the history of Athlete of the Month. DeRose expressed her appreciation for everyone that voted for her.
“I really have to credit my family, friends and my teammates. I texted them, emailed a few people and they just spread the word for me. It makes me feel good that that many people support me and care,” DeRose said. “(Senior teammate) Megan Maloney got over 800 votes as well, so it just goes to show that Rock softball has a lot of supporters.”
This year, DeRose has become a leader on The Rock softball team and over her career she has developed into the workhorse of the pitching staff. DeRose has totaled over 100 innings in each of her first two years on the team and is on a good pace this year, having pitched 62 innings already.
SRU head Stacey Rice believes that DeRose has embraced her role as a leader for the rest of the pitching staff.
“Carly’s definitely one of our leaders, she’s one of our upperclassmen on the pitching-catching staff. So as far as the battery (pitcher and catchers) goes, she’s the leader. She sets the tone: the tone of the work ethic, the tone of what it looks like to be a pitcher for Slippery Rock softball,” Rice said. “She definitely is our most consistent pitcher. For the most part she’s been lights out. She’s a consistent arm that we know we can put out there at any time, whether it be in a starting role or a relief role.”
DeRose attended South Range high school in Ohio where she was overlooked by a lot of colleges due to her size.
DeRose is listed at 5-3 and is the shortest pitcher on the Slippery Rock roster. Despite this, DeRose had always planned on coming to SRU even if she could not make the softball team.
Rice thought that regardless of her height DeRose was a good pitcher that had a good understanding of the game.
“She had some control issues, but she was extremely aggressive. Sometimes you don’t see a lot of pitchers actually field their positions. You kind of miss that athleticism on the mound anymore and that’s something Carly possessed,” Rice said. “We knew the whole package could be there, it was just one of those developmental things.”
Rice thinks that DeRose has worked hard on developing the mental part of the game, becoming “more of a pitcher and less of a thrower.”
DeRose has set high expectations for herself, not even being content with her sub-two ERA.
“I feel pretty good, I just want to make this the best year for everyone on the field. I have a really close relationship with some of the seniors and it’s very important to me to make sure this year is amazing for them,” DeRose said. “I just want to keep throwing how I’m throwing. I think I’m doing pretty well. My ERA is under two, which is very important to me, but I want to get it lower, it can always be lower.”
With 16 games left in the regular season, DeRose and the rest of the Green and White are looking for a return to the playoffs and to win an elusive first SRU Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship.