WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. Lauren Sputo, a graduate of White Plains High, took nothing for granted when she arrived at the College of St. Rose to begin her freshman year as a student and softball player.
Sputo was recruited to pitch for St. Rose. But Sputo, a five-year varsity starting pitcher, knew she had to prove herself. And she did so during fall ball and earned her spot in the rotation.
In her first season, she was second on the team in starts with 13 and appearances with 24. Overall, Sputo, who finished with five of the team's 16 wins, led St. Rose in innings pitched at 97.1, strikeouts at 71 and complete games with eight. The Golden Knights increased their win total from nine in 2011 to 16 this year.
"By surpassing last year's win total, it definitely made us feel like we are taking a step in the right direction," she said.
As a result of her stats, Sputo emerged as St. Rose's top pitcher.
"I definitely wanted to be the No. 1 pitcher, but it was also nice to know that I wasn't the only pitcher," she said. "It took a lot of pressure off of me knowing that we had three very talented pitchers on our team, as well."
Sputo was a power pitcher in high school, overpowering batters with her fastball. She learned early on what changes to make to play college ball.
"The biggest adjustment for me was making sure my pitches were moving better," she said. "In high school, I depended a lot on my speed to get the ball past hitters, but at the college level speed is not good enough. I knew that if I could improve the amount of movement each of my pitches have, I would be a more effective pitcher."
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