April 27, 2006
By Scott MacDonald
When Georgia Tech softball standout Amy Hosier stands in the batter’s box, she exemplifies something that you can hear from a Guns N’ Roses song, “Need a little patience, yeah, Just a little patience, yeah. Some more patience, yeah.”
The song title, something that you witness from Hosier when she bats, Patience. Hosier, a senior from Lakewood, Colo., has earned 44 free passes this season and etched her name in the Tech record books, breaking former great Tara Knudsen’s 39 walks set in 2004.
“It hasn’t always been my strategy,” said Hosier. “My freshman and sophomore year, I just went up to the plate, not having a plan and just swinging at anything that was close, which really didn’t help my cause at all.”
And then some. Hosier batted .069 (2-for-29) and .226 (57-for-160) her first two seasons at Tech. Last season she hit .356, with 39 runs batted in and stole a career high 16 bases en route to earning first team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors. She was also named to the Easton All-America third team.
This year, more of the same from Hosier, consistency. The 5 feet, 2 inch, outfielder is leading the ACC with a .518 on base percentage, ranks second on the Yellow Jacket squad with a .372 average, and has driven in 44 runs and smacked eight home runs, all career highs.
“I do it better this year,” said Hosier about evaluating the strike zone. “I mean, it may differ from umpire to umpire, but I have a general sense of what are balls and what are strikes so that’s helped a lot.”
Another reason Hosier has drawn so many walks is her approach with two strikes.
“I like to get on top of the plate and force the pitcher to throw me inside,” said Hosier. “If they do, I’ll swing at it, and if they throw away, I can drive it. But if it’s not that close to the outside half, I know that it has to be a ball because I’m so close to the plate.”
When asked if that’s used as an intimidation factor towards the pitcher, Hosier just shrugs her shoulder, smiles and states, “I’ve taken away the outside pitch and make them try and throw inside, which most pitchers don’t like to do.”
By reaching base over 50 percent of the time, Hosier helps power this high octane Tech offense. The Yellow Jackets rank in the top 20 in several offensive categories this year, including batting average (.311), slugging percentage (.498), home runs (58) and lead the nation with 121 stolen bases.
Another part of Hosier’s game that makes her so effective, is her approach in the on-deck circle. She focuses on what her pitch selection is going to be and what type of pattern, if any, the pitcher is using.
“I just mainly focus on what pitches I want and just get that through my head so that when I go to the plate, I’m not focused too much on what I need to do, like how to get inside the ball or try to focus on fundamental things, so I can have a clear head and just focus on what I need to get done.”
It seems like that mental approach to hitting has paid off for Hosier and the Yellow Jackets. Tech stands third in the ACC regular season standings with one final weekend against No. 25 Virginia Tech (35-14, 10-7 ACC). The Jackets lead the conference in every offensive category, with the exception of triples, and eclipsed the 40-win plateau for the fourth time in five seasons.
“I thought we would have done a little better in conference play,” said Hosier. “We won all of our [conference] series last year and this year it’s going to be different going to conference as the underdog. But we still have a good chance and hopefully we’ll do it again.”