Not many teams can say that the player with the most RBI’s and the second-best batting average on the team also pitches.
Sophomore FSU pitcher and designated hitter Amy Dunleavy has been given the chance to effect both the offense and defense this year.
Before Dunleavy arrived at Ferris, she batted and pitched regularly for Canton High school in Canton, Mich. Though during her freshman year at Ferris, Dunleavy took a year off from hitting to focus on her pitching and make adjustments.
This year Dunleavy feels more confident in her pitching and is glad to be batting for the Bulldogs.
“I didn’t expect to hit this year but I knew it was something I really wanted to do,” Dunleavy said. “I worked really hard all year and just tried to prove I could hit, as well as pitch.”
Since the switch, Dunleavy has compiled a squad-best 32 RBI’s and a team-best .351 batting average this season. Dunleavy is boasting a team-best .437 on base percentage thanks to the opportunity she was given this year.
“I think it’s easier to hit and pitch because I’m in the game entirely,” Dunleavy said. “When I’m in the lineup, I’m just as responsible for the outcome of a game as the person next to me. I’m a lot harder on myself this year than I was last year because I have an affect on the score even more than just shutting them down.”
Playing against conference opponents has helped Dunleavy bring her averages up this year. So far in conference play, Dunleavy has hit three homeruns for the Bulldogs. Her batting average in conference is .362 and her on base percentage increased to .463.
“Her bat has been a great part of our lineup and her pitching has come a long way,” FSU junior pitcher Dana Bowler said. “It’s good that she could master both of them this year and help us out.”
Dunleavy enjoys batting because normally the designated player position in the batting order is meant for someone to come in and replace the pitcher in the order. Instead, Dunleavy is able to do that for the Bulldogs.
“My pitching is a lot stronger this year than it was last. I wouldn’t say it’s because of my hitting but it’s definitely a lot easier to be more into the game. It picks up my intensity level instead of just sitting on the bench, putting my jacket on, and keeping my arm warm sitting there watching.”
During games Dunleavy pitches, she also comes into the batting lineup and hits for the Bulldogs. Dunleavy is 9-8 on the mound this year.