Notre Dame's Stelly signs with Baton Rouge Community College
Notre Dame pitcher Mollie Stelly signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball for Baton Rouge Community College earlier in the week. On hand for the signing were, first row from left, Carl Stelly (father), Mollie Stelly, Denise Stelly (mother); second row, Elise LeBeouf, BRCC coach Stephanie Jones, Taylor Satchell, ND assistant softball coach Rachel Meyer; third row, ND Athletic Director Lewis Cook, head softball coach Dusty Collette and Lenny Zerangue.
CROWLEY – One year ago, college softball wasn’t really on Mollie Stelly’s mind.
The Notre Dame senior pitcher was more worried about helping lead her team to the Class 3A state title game.
Fast forward to the present and the prospect of playing college softball has been very much on her mind.
So much so, in fact, that she signed a letter of intent during the week to do so next year with Baton Rouge Community College.
“Everything changed this year,” said Stelly, arguably one of Class 3A’s top returning pitchers this spring. “I knew that I would miss it (softball) so when they offered me, I took it.”
Stelly recorded a 22-7 record during her junior campaign in which she helped lead the Lady Pios to the state title game where they dropped a 5-3 decision to No. 1-ranked Brusly.
With her back for her senior season, the Lady Pios are once again considered a threat for the 3A title.
“Mollie did an amazing job for us throughout the season and in the playoffs last year,” said ND coach Dusty Collette. “She did a good job of adjusting to what the umpires wanted and she hit her spots which I thought was huge for her and for us.
“Having her on the mound, you always feel confident with her and her ability. She’s just one of those girls that works hard and expects to be at her best every time out so it’s easy to have confidence in her.”
Stelly posted a 2.38 earned run average last season and struck out 193 batters while walking just 21 in 170 innings of work.
“Mollie just has an amazing attitude and work ethic,” said ND pitching coach Rachel Meyer. “She is motivated and very focused on what she is doing and I am very proud of the way that she is leading our team as a senior right now.”
Stelly is a power pitcher, having been clocked at 62 miles per hour, but what makes her so effective is that she has three other pitches in her repertoire.
“Mollie has a lot of movement on her ball,” said Meyer. “Even her fastball; we don’t even call it a fastball, we call it a low rise and a high rise.
“Her ball moves and that makes her effective. But she can also throw a screwball and a curve and she has an offspeed pitch. I think the idea that she can mix up her pitches and hit her spots with movement makes her an effective pitcher.”
Stelly, however, isn’t only a threat on the mound. The four-year starter was one of the Lady Pios’ top hitters in 2013 when she logged an average of .309 with six doubles, two home runs and 29 RBI.
“A lot of teams don’t like to let their pitchers hit and I thought about doing that this year,” said Collette. “But the more I thought about it, she was one of our best hitters last year so I can’t keep her out of the lineup.
“You know, you don’t want a pitcher to have a bad at bat and carry that over to the mound but she does a good job of handling that and focusing on the task at hand.
“As a coach, it would be nice if she could just focus on pitching, but she did such a great job hitting that she’s going to be in the lineup this year and we expect a lot from her at the plate also.”
Stelly and the Lady Pios will kick off the 2014 season on Tuesday when they travel to Lafayette to take on St. Thomas More at 4 p.m.