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Opposition has trouble measuring up to Signore on G-A mound

May 05, 2005|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Greencastle-Antrim sophomore Sarah Signore might nip the vertical measuring tape at 5 feet, 4 inches, and she claims to weigh 110 pounds.

Drench her with water and that might be true.

Her softball coach, Jamie Richardson, says she might be all of 100 pounds, but her right arm has been a heavyweight factor in the Blue Devils' success in 2005.

Opposing batters might take a look at Signore and think they are going to hit her easily.

"I might even look at me out there and think, 'I could hit her,'" Signore said.

Signore is 12-1 this season with 141 strikeouts in 72 innings, a major reason the Blue Devils (16-1) hold the No. 1 spot in The Herald-Mail softball poll.

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She has a 0.50 earned run average and has walked only four batters - all in the same game. She's pitched three no-hitters, the most recent a seven-inning perfect game last week when she struck out 17 against Boiling Springs.

"That was one of my goals at the beginning of the year ... to lower my ERA," Signore said. "It was around 1.00 last year, but I wanted to improve on it."

Much of Signore's improvement has come with the addition of a fifth pitch to her repertoire, what she calls a backhand changeup that she learned at a Shippensburg University camp. She also throws a drop curve, screwball, riseball and curveball.

She added strength using an off-season weight program. Her pitch speed has increased from 53 mph to around 58, as clocked at a Kutztown College camp earlier this year.

"My best pitch is the drop curve to get an out, and my riseball is my pitch to get the strikeouts," she said. "My catcher (Whitney Myers) has been so good to me. We're always on the same page. She's been awesome."

Richardson raves about Greencastle's pitching staff, which includes sophomore Brittany Main, raising expectations for the Blue Devils for the next two years.

"(Sarah) has become dominant through hard work," Richardson said. "She began to develop last year as a freshman. She has gotten bigger and stronger and gained so much experience."

Richardson said Signore has "the potential to become the best pitcher he's coached.

"She's got the Division I potential by the time she is a senior," said Richardson. "She is very smart and in control of herself. She just keeps getting better and she's been so pleasant to coach."

Signore carries a 3.7 grade point average and is interested in animal science and journalism. She said she'd like to attend the University of California at Santa Barbara.

"I like English in school and I like to write poetry," she said. "I had a second-place award in a contest at Shippensburg."

Her success on the field could give her plenty to write about in the future.

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