Freshman Jess Mazur, coming all the way from Palatine, Illinois, has gotten off to a solid start as the new right handed pitcher for the Georgia Southern softball team.
Years prior to committing to GS, Mazur got a taste of Eagle Nation while watching her older sister Michelle play for GS softball in the 2014-2017 seasons. Michelle Mazur played at the utility position in her tenure, but she was a dual athlete in high school. She earned all conference honors in swimming.
Jess Mazur was named the 2018 Northwest Female High School Athlete of the Year and set several school records at her alma mater, William Fremd High School, including 34 home runs, 155 RBI, and 318 total bases.
Like her sister, in addition to receiving several softball scholarship offers, Mazur was a prospect for another sport— volleyball. She was looked at for a few collegiate volleyball teams, but eventually declined these opportunities because she felt more experienced with softball, considering she’s played practically her whole life compared to just a few short years of volleyball in high school.
“Compared to high school, the game is a lot more upbeat and fast paced. It’s a lot easier to be able to make mistakes in high school,” Mazur said. “In college, everybody’s here because they’re good athletes. It really holds you accountable for what you’re supposed to do.”
This change of play hasn’t seem to affect her collegiate start. With GS starting conference play soon, Mazur has gotten sufficient practice so far this season. Against Furman University, she pitched for six innings with only two hits and one run. She assisted three outs in the field against Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
As a freshman, she has started two games and accumulated a sharp 2.25 ERA.
Being fourteen hours away from home, Mazur depends on her teammates to be a strong support system for her. A few team injuries have forced GS to make adjustments to the lineup and the overall team dynamic.
“We’ve really come together and started to learn each other. With Macy Coleman being out at shortstop and Mekhia Freeman being out for a little bit too, our strong bond has helped us in all aspects of the game,” Mazur said.
Sophomore pitcher Rylee Waldrep has taken Mazur under her wing since practice has started. Waldrep is a strong asset of the team who struck out a season high of seven against Mount St.Mary’s MD.
“Pitching-wise, Kaylee Ramos and Rylee [Waldrep] help me a lot,” Mazur said. “We all help each other out. If we see something going wrong, we let each other know.”
Mazur and the rest of the GS softball team will take on their first conference opponent with Appalachian State on March 8, in Boone, N.C at 2 p.m.
Amanda Arnold, The George-Anne Sports Reporter, email@example.com