Softball has been a part of Erin Stacevicz’s life for as long as she can remember.
Growing up in a softball family with two older sisters who landed at the University of Delaware to continue their playing careers, Immaculate Conception’s Stacevicz seems to be on a similar path, although she is only halfway through her high school career.
The super sophomore infielder just had one of the best seasons in Blue Wolves’ history, racking up a North Jersey-best 58 hits. She added 47 runs, 24 RBI and 33 steals to emerge as one of the best leadoff hitters in the state.
In two years at IC, Stacevicz has stolen 65 bases, accumulated 122 hits and owns a career batting average of .560.
She works hard, but has fun doing it — one example being her boxer-type handshake each inning with her partner on the right side of the infield, first baseman Shannon Truppi.
The path to stardom didn’t come easy for Stacevicz — The Record Softball Player of the Year. The Cedar Grove native hit right-handed up until the summer entering eighth grade.
Her father saw the potential if she switched to the left side, to better utilize her skill set of speed and bat control that’s possessed by few girls in North Jersey.
Three years later, Stacevicz, 15, has become the prototypical lefty slap hitter and the catalyst in Immaculate Conception’s first state championship.
“At first, the switch was really hard,” said Stacevicz, who batted .523 this year and is receiving college interest from Massachusetts and Fordham, among others.
“I eventually got the hang of it with a lot of practice. I put a lot of time into it. I’d always start with the footwork, that was probably the hardest part. But I’d just spend hours pounding the ball off the tee into the ground. Just practice, practice, practice.”
As talented as she’s become, Stacevicz still sees room for improvement. She’s never satisfied, citing a reduction of pop-ups and hitting the ball more consistently to all fields as areas she could work on.
She’s a gym rat, having spent the last two off-seasons working out at a gym in Wyckoff — often for three hours a session, multiple times per week — and has dreamed of a Division I scholarship ever since watching her sisters play while growing up.
“D-I has been the goal,” Stacevicz said. “That’s where my sisters went to play, and that’s where the best softball is played. That’s been my dream.”
If the past is any indication, Stacevicz seems well on her way.