When Casey Crozier steps up to the pitcher’s mound for the Youngstown State University softball team, she always has the ability to take control of the game.
This senior in special education has now made her mark in YSU history by breaking the records for most strikeouts and most wins, and could shatter a few more before it’s all said and done.
Crozier started off this season ranked second in career strikeouts, third in wins, fourth in innings pitched and fifth in shutouts. She has done nothing but produce for the Penguins.
Since her freshman season, she has accumulated over 459 strikeouts, more than 562 innings pitched, and 50 victories. This year, Crozier is already 9-3 with a 2.47 ERA, 10 complete games in 13 starts and 90 strikeouts in 79 1/3 innings pitched before Wednesday’s doubleheader against Robert Morris University.
It all started as a child growing up in Valparaiso, Ind. with her mother, father and older sister Courtney. Crozier was always involved with athletics and, as a junior in high school, she set the program’s single-season record with 259 strikeouts, which was second most in the state. She was also named MVP three times for her team.
“I’ve played softball since I was eight, and I’ve been pitching since I was nine,” Crozier said. “I never had an actual pitching lesson until I came here. My dad and I would sit outside and kind of just throw against the shed.”
Softball was not Crozier’s only love growing up, seeing as she enjoyed playing basketball too. Over time, her passion for softball grew and led her to YSU’s record books.
“[Courtney] played softball, and I loved it,” Crozier said. “I was the bat girl, the water girl, and then I decided to come out for the team.”
Being around the sport her whole life has been an advantage for Crozier. She knows the game like the back of her pitcher’s mitt and excels in all categories statistically. She is an elite player, but she plays her game like a true teammate. She’s carried a philosophy with her throughout her playing career that has allowed success for her and her team.
“Work hard, don’t take anything for granted and empty your bucket, which I’ve always been taught that, to leave it all out there,” Crozier said. “Do everything that you can. It’s not an I sport; it’s a team sport.”
Crozier is a leader at practice and in the dugout. For some of the younger players, Crozier has been there as a leader and mentor.
It is the same attitude that has driven her to one day put her special education major to good use. Crozier has aspirations to help children from her hometown.
“When I am done at Youngstown State, I want move back home, have my own classroom and be a special education teacher,” she said. “I really want to work with and help students who have mild to moderate disabilities.”
It is easy to look up to someone so dedicated to their degree and their athletics. Since arriving in Youngstown, Crozier has left her positive impression on professors, coaches and fellow students. She takes pride in what she does, and works hard to achieve a high magnitude of success.