Herr commits to St. Joe’s

By on March 8, 2017

 

Junior pitcher Amanda Herr has 17 wins and a 1.31 ERA in two seasons with the Warwick softball team. (Lititz Record file photo)

Junior pitcher Amanda Herr has 17 wins and a 1.31 ERA in two seasons with the Warwick softball team. (Lititz Record file photo)

Amanda Herr isn’t going to lie.

A junior on the Warwick softball team, she was hoping to be able to pitch in college.

And why shouldn’t she?

All Herr has done in her first two seasons in the circle for the Lady Warriors is post 17 wins and a sterling 1.31 ERA.

“As long as I’m playing,” Herr said, “I’m happy.”

You see, Herr is not the complaining type.

So when St. Joseph’s University expressed interest in the left-handed hurler for the pitching rubber, she was intrigued. When the Hawks wanted her, besides that, to also play in the field and bat in the lineup, Herr liked it even more.

“Some of the other schools I looked at,” Herr said, “they wanted me just for pitching, so I wouldn’t be able to hit. But hitting is one of my stronger sides, so I was really happy when they said they wanted me for more than just a pitcher. That definitely influenced my decision too.”

In the end, she gave a verbal commitment on Dec. 8 to St. Joe’s. In addition to continuing her softball career, Herr plans to study elementary education.

Herr had also visited Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference schools Millersville and Shippensburg, looking to stay a bit closer to home. She is close with MU coach Jen Probst.

St. Joe’s, though, turned out to be a better fit.

“I really liked the other schools, but I just felt that the St. Joe’s coaching staff was the best for me and also the campus,” Herr said. “… I just think the campus is really nice and the people there are nice. The coaches are really personable and I think that’s what I liked most about it. The campus just felt like home when I went there.”

Initially, she saw the St. Joe’s campus last November during a camp. At that time, the Hawks’ coaches asked her come back for a visit that Sunday. Herr then scheduled an overnight trip later that month and the rest is history.

“I think it’s an excellent fit for her,” Warwick coach Mark Hough said. “From what I can tell, I think she’s got an excellent working relationship already with their pitching coach. And Amanda is that kind of kid that when a coach offers a suggestion, she’s going to do what that coach has asked and really focus in on how she can become a better player.”

In the off-season, Herr made an adjustment to her delivery, so that her glove hand now comes straight at the batter &tstr; instead of flying off toward third &tstr; when she pushes off the pitching rubber.

“I would pull off (previously), some of my power would be taken off because of that, and now it’s going straight forward,” Herr said.

Not coincidentally, she has added some velocity since the end of the 2016 season.

“I’ve been hitting around 60 lately, which is a lot more than last year,” Herr said. “Last year, I was hitting the high 50s, usually around 55, 56.”

Her bread-and-butter, though, is that she has a lot of movement on her pitches. Her repertoire includes a fastball, change-up, drop, curve, screwball, rise and a back-door curve ball.

“I don’t have overpowering speed,” she said, “but my movement is usually working pretty well and I can hit my spots pretty well. I think that’s one of my stronger sides.”

So, too, is Herr’s game at the plate. As a freshman, she batted .359 with 17 RBIs. Then in her sophomore season, Herr hit .417 with 10 RBIs. She has 16 extra-base hits in her first two years.

“I think from a standpoint of her bat speed, her arm, I can see her easily being an everyday player, either in the outfield or first base, and I think that her bat’s gotten stronger,” Hough said. “And I think she could see time in the circle as well.”

As dangerous as she is between the white lines, her modesty is a prominent trait off the field.

Asked about Herr’s strengths, Hough said, “To me, she’s just a respectful kid, that’s the first thing. The second thing is she’s probably one of the most humble kids I’ve ever been around. She’s a hard-worker. She’s one of the first kids to thank you after practice for giving your time, and I think one of her best attributes is she’s a natural leader in that she does things without you even having to ask.”

That work ethic will no doubt serve her well with the Hawks, who advanced to the Atlantic-10 title game in 2016. In the early going this season, St. Joe’s has started off 3-7 in games in Florida and North Carolina, splitting two games last Sunday against Iona and Elon. Senior Niki Carillo, junior Madison Clarke, sophomores Abigail Stroud and Ashley Ventura, and freshman Ashley Stokes have all pitched for St. Joe’s in its 10 games.

According to a pre-season poll, the Hawks are picked to finish third in the A-10 this spring, behind only Fordham and Dayton. They host St. Louis in their A-10 opener on March 25.

“I’m real excited to go watch their games this year,” Herr said. “They’re going to do really well. I’m excited to play for them.”

And St. Joe’s will certainly be excited to add her to the roster.

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