PENNSAUKEN--- When Izzy Kelly finishes each game in the circle, she isn’t too concerned with the numbers she just put up.
With everyone marveling at her incredible stats, Kelly is just worried about doing the job of a pitcher for Bishop Eustace.
“I don’t really dwell on the strikeouts and stuff like that,” Kelly said. “I kind of just throw and I get swings and misses. I don’t really focus on them. At the end of the game, I don’t notice how many strikeouts I threw.”
Kelly, who eclipsed 500 career strikeouts and 200 for the season this past weekend at the Fred Powell tournament in Williamstown, added 12 punch outs to her totals in Monday’s 9-3 win over Paul VI.
The senior pitcher enjoys the challenge of placing every pitch in the strike zone and works with catcher Madison Grubb to keep the focus.
“Just making sure my pitches get to the strike zone every time and being as accurate as I can,” Kelly said.
“I definitely have fun with it. Mentally I just stay focused and I focus in on the count. Me and Maddie will go back and forth and say this will work. Me and Maddie together have fun with it.”
Kelly is at the forefront of a charge the Crusaders are making into a difficult playoff bracket that features state powers Donovan Catholic and St. John Vianney.
As the Crusaders prepare for the task at hand in the postseason, they are in the process of wrapping up the Olympic Conference National Division.
WIth Monday’s win, Eustace moved to 8-1, two games ahead of Seneca in the loss column. The Crusaders have four remaining games in the National, including a pair against Cherry Hill West.
“Our first goal is to win conference and our second goal is to go as far as we can when playoffs come,” Kelly said.
Another aspect of playoff preparation comes in the form of close games, as Eustace has played seven games decided by two runs or less.
“I think it just matters how hard we fight,” Kelly said. “We just never give up and I think that’s a big factor with our team this year. We never give up. We fight until the end.
“Close games just make us want to work harder because we definitely want to blow out every team we play. Close games make us work harder in practice and make us learn what we have to focus on.”
At 13-3, the Crusaders are focusing solely on the next two weeks, and if they keep up their current play, they will head into the postseason with momentum few can stop.
“I think we just want to attack with as many runs and win as many games as we can in the next two weeks so that we’re ready and prepared for playoffs,” Kelly said. “I think that’s just the main goal, keep winning.”