By Michael Evanko
The spring weather has arrived in Youngstown and with it came an 11-game winning streak for the Youngstown State softball team. After starting the season 0-8 the Penguins went on an 11 game win streak that spanned over 17 days. A big contributor behind the streak is freshman pitcher Addy Jarvis.
Addy Jarvis, a biochemistry major from Vienna, Ohio has been on an absolute tear this season. During the Penguins 11-game win streak, Jarvis pitched 45.1 innings, gave up 35 hits, allowed 19 earned runs, with 70 strikeouts in just 8 appearances. On a per game basis, Jarvis averaged 5.6 innings pitched, 4.3 hits, 2.3 earned runs and 8.7 strikeouts.
Jarvis is leading the Penguins in earned run average, wins, innings, starts, appearances, but more impressive she is one of the most outstanding pitchers in the entire Horizon League. Jarvis is third in the Horizon in ERA, second in wins, tied for first with 12 complete games, and second in strikeouts.The scary part about her outstanding play: she’s only a freshman.
But this freshman isn’t one to idolize the stats. She’s more focused on winning.
“I want us to as a whole to win the conference,” Jarvis said. “For myself I don’t even care about that too much. I don’t even look at stats. As long as we’re winning games it doesn’t really matter to me.”
With her performing at such a high level and at an early stage in her softball career many would believe she would feel an enormous amount of pressure, but for Jarvis this is nothing new.
“In high school it’s not as big as a deal but it definitely was similar to this so it has helped me prepare,” Jarvis said. “It’s felt pretty good, everyone’s very accepting, no one really cares on the team which is nice.”
Coach Brian Campbell speaks very highly on Jarvis’ play this season, also speaking glowingly of her character.
“Addy will be the first one to say she couldn’t do this without her teammates behind her,” Campbell said. “Someone has to catch the ball when she throws it, someone has to field the ball when does get hit and they need to put up runs on the board to win ball games. She’s done a great job as a freshman. She’s kept us in ball games and that’s a testament to what she brings to this team.”
Jarvis says she couldn’t have done it without her team.
“It feels really great to be playing well but I know I couldn’t do it without them,” Jarvis said. “The team is putting up a lot of runs, which is such a comfort especially when you’re pitching.”
And put up runs they have. After a 0-8 start in which the team only managed 10 runs, the ladies put up 90 runs after their first win on March 9.
“What you consider a slow start we were playing the fourth ranked team in the nation in South Carolina, so when we head into the preseason the competition we played is something that takes an adjustment,” Campbell said. “A lot of those teams are regional teams, had games under their belts because they are down south and it’s our first time getting on dirt. I don’t look at a lot of that, I look at what we can do as a team as far as competing, as far as staying ball games. Once we came back we were able to make those adjustments as a team
With the season passing the halfway mark, coach Campbell is pleased with how the team has performed so far.
“You’re going to have your ups and downs every now and again. For them to come together and do something that no teams done here in 15 years and win 11 straight games, they’ve made their adjustments fielding, hitting, and pitching wise. That’s something you’re proud of. Anytime you’re able to win that many in a row and make those adjustment that’s pretty great. “
The Penguins’ goal of winning the Horizon League is still in contention. The Penguins are current 5-2 in conference play and have the second most total wins in the entire conference.
“It’s always been to compete, to go out and play our very best and what we’ve been able to do is with being down in a lot of games find ways to comeback and get victories,” Campbell said.
“Definitely get to the conference championship, that is out ultimate goal along with finishing the season out strong,” Jarvis said.
With the way coach Campbell describes the way his team has been playing so far, a shot at Horizon League champions doesn’t feel out of reach.
“It’s been different young ladies stepping up which makes it fun to see them get that clutch hit. It’s not just one player. It’s a different player making key plays,”
If the freshman keeps rolling and the Penguins keep the bats hot, there’s no telling what this squad can do come this May.