Sometimes you find what you are looking for when you are seeking something else.
Eastern Michigan University (11-15, 3-1 MAC) softball team has been taking steps to improve its pitching staff over the last year, and it appears to have taken another step in the right direction with the addition of pitcher Jamie Melchert, out of Muskegon Community College.
“Last year we struggled with pitching, we didn’t have a whole lot of depth,” Assistant Coach Eric Oakley said.
This year Eagle’s pitching has shown signs of improvement, much of it thanks to Melchert.
“The Pitching staff as a whole, has to get better, it has not been our stongest point,” Oakley said. “We expect a little bit more out of our pitchers. We need them to give us a chance to win games, and she does that.”
Melchert is the first junior college player the coaches have brought to the team, and she has been a good one thus far.
Junior college players are often able to come in and contribute more immediately than an incoming freshman because a junior college player ready for conference play is typically much more developed. This allows clubs to improve for the short term, while building for the long term.
“She shows a lot of poise cause she has pitched a lot of games so far,” Oakley said of Melchert. “And she’s pitched in some very important games (for Muskegon).”
“The team here is wonderful, the coaches are wonderful to work with, it’s been a great experience so far,” junior Melchert said.
“She’s been very consistent,” Oakly said. “She’s had a couple outings where she has made the other team look foolish “
Outtings like last weekend when she let only two hits and struck out nine batters Saturday, then Sunday pitched seven more innings and struck out six. She has helped the Eagles to their best start in the Mid-American Conference since 2007 (3-1).
“I don’t throw as hard as a lot of girls do,” Melchert said. “My goal is ground balls, let my defense make the play. I attribute alot of that to my catcher, Sarah Gerber for calling the game.”
For the remainder of the season, Melchart and the team have one goal in mind.
“We want to win the MAC championship, at the same time go one game at a time.”
To get ready for a game, Melchert prefers to keep her mind off the task at hand.
“Just have to go about my day, and do things to keep my mind off it, listen to the ipod,” Melchert said. “I’m big into country.”
Off the field Melchert is a Secondary Ed major, with a concentration in history, and a minor in Economics.
She loves watching other sports like basketball and volleyball and loves to support her siblings in their ventures. Her younger sister Ashley Melchert also plays softball. She is a sophomore outfielder and plays at Muskegon Community College where she and Jamie played together for one year.