SYCAMORE – From DeKalb High School to the Kishwaukee Valley Storm, Erin Karasewski has had an eventful year on the softball diamond.
Despite being a freshman, Karasewski made the opening day roster for the Barbs’ varsity team as the starting left fielder.
Karasewski is a left-handed hitter who is capable of bunting, slapping and hitting for power at the plate, and has speed that allows her to get to fly balls hit into the outfield.
Karasewski enjoyed some success during her high school season, and enjoyed playing on the varsity team.
Now, she is back to playing for the 16U Kishwaukee Valley Storm travel softball team. She bats leadoff, and usually plays left field or shortstop.
After facing older players during the high school season, there is an adjustment period to competing against players her own age.
But it is something Karasewski does not really worry about.
“It is a little slower coming back down, but I just have to play my game the same way,” she said. “I have to go full speed like I know how regardless of what may be happening around me.”
Although the travel softball program is fun for Karasewski, the summer is mostly used for her to get better for the high school season and prepare her to potentially play in college.
Although she still aims to compete at a high level and confident in her abilities, she remains obsessed with working on continuously improving.
“I am definitely working on my arm strength, among other things I really want to improve,” she said. “It’s important for an outfielder to have a strong arm and to get the ball out quickly, so that is something I am really focusing on while still trying to improve all around.”
The reason for her desire to improve is because of a long-standing goal she has had to play softball in college.
Karasewski wants to play at least on a Division II team.
She has started looking at some schools all over the country.
“I have some interest in the East Coast, or anywhere but the Midwest really, ultimately playing softball in the snow gets difficult at times.” Karasewski said.
Her desire and ability has been noticed by coach of the Kishwaukee Valley Storm, as well as Kishwaukee College softball coach Bill Becker.
Becker said he enjoys having Karasewski on the team for a variety of reasons, but he points to her varsity experience and leadership.
“Obviously we enjoy having her because of her ability, but one thing she brings because of her experience in high school is leadership,” Becker said. “She wasn’t a leader on the high school team because she was a freshman, but she learned from those girls and is a leader here.”
Karasewski has a long summer ahead of her, and three more years at DeKalb, but with her continuous drive to succeed, she will be a player to watch for years to come.