Freshman pitcher off to a fast start to her college career

Published by The Rocket, Author: Stephen Cukovich - Assistant Sports Editor, Date: March 29, 2018

Freshman softball pitcher Camie Shumaker has exceeded all expectations entering her college career with a 4-1 record and a current earned run average of 1.58 to help lift The Rock’s record to 13-10 on the season.

“I was kinda nervous coming in because I didn’t know what to expect,” Shumaker said.  “It’s a lot more practice.  So it gives me more time to focus and like the catchers really know me and I have a lot more feedback coming to me than I’m used to.”

The Rock’s record puts them in second place in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West behind first-place Seton Hill University (8-6), while Shumaker’s 1.58 ERA lands her in the top 10 in the PSAC in that category.

“[Shumaker]’s like ice,” SRU softball head coach Stacey Rice said.  “Usually you see a lot of freshman panic in situations and she’s really handling those pressure situations in the game very maturely.”

In her first four starts, Shumaker was able to pitch four complete games, with the first three games being shutouts.  Her fourth game included two runs, both unearned.  Shumaker was able to record six strikeouts and surrendering just five hits in her first start against Virginia State (10-10), leading The Rock to a 3-0 victory.

Shumaker then got the start again against Bloomsburg University (8-9), giving the Green and White another 3-0 win, but was able to do so without recording a strikeout, during the team’s spring break tournament in Florida.

“I’ve always been one of those pitchers that I never really struck a ton of people out, but I can get the ball on the ground,” Shumaker said.  “I have so much confidence.  If a ball gets hit I look where it’s going and I’m like well they got it.”

The next day, Shumaker got another start, this time against another unfamiliar opponent in the University of Minnesota Crookston (4-18) as she was able to put away two batters in the team’s 2-0 win.  In The Rock’s final game of their spring break tournament, Shumaker again got the nod, completing four straight complete games, with two strikeouts in the team’s 3-2 victory over Bemidji State University (11-11).

In her most previous start against Lock Haven University (9-9) last Saturday, surrendering eight runs off of 12 hits through five innings pitched.  The silver lining was that Shumaker was able to strike out six batters, but also remembering that this game has its high points, and it’s low ones as well.

“Any bad game is a humbling experience,” Rice said.  “It just reminds you that you need to continue to work and strive for greatness and I think that’s exactly what that was.”

What is interesting about Shumaker is her ability to throw her change-up, Rice mentioned.  It is more of a flip style change-up so the rotation of the ball looks exactly the same as her fastball, Rice said.

“[Shumaker] has a devastating change-up,” Rice said.  “So we get a ton of people who swing before the ball is even halfway.”

Shumaker, a Lancaster, Ohio native, played her high school ball at Lancaster high school as she lettered in both softball and tennis, while being named First Team All-District in 2017 and a two First Team All-Area honors in 2016-17 in softball.  The reasoning for Shumaker’s decision to come to The Rock was that she fell in love with the campus and she had a really good connection with coach Rice during her visit, Shumaker said.

“If I ever got injured and wasn’t able to play softball anymore I knew I loved the campus,” Shumaker said.  “I love the environment personally.  It’s just a great place to be and like everybody is pretty positive.”

The Rock hopes to get back to action on Monday against California University of Pa (6-8), ending an eight-day game drought due to three double-headers being postponed due to weather this week.


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