Simon a standout on Oakville softball team

Marissa Simon

Marissa Simon

By STEPHEN GLOVER

When opposing teams face the Oakville Senior High School girls’ softball team, many coaches wonder: “Is Oakville ever going to graduate its shortstop?”

The answer is “not anytime soon” as junior Marissa Simon is playing her third season at shortstop for the Tigers this fall.

“The ultimate compliment that you can give to Marissa is that we gave her the keys to the shortstop position as a freshman,” Oakville head coach Rich Sturm said. “She’s very consistent game in and game out and is just a solid, all-around player.”

As a freshman, Simon struggled at the plate with a .190 batting average with one RBI. But that first season on the varsity team actually made Simon a better ball-player.

“I’ve always played against older girls and that’s always made me a better player,” Simon said. “The high-school atmosphere is so different because the girls are all of different ages playing together on one team.”

As Oakville made its run to the Class 4 state championship game last year, Simon was on fire at the plate with a .424 batting average and 21 RBI.

She was second on the team in stolen bases with 14 swipes and also had seven doubles and two triples.

“She’s just a solid, all-around player,” Sturm said. “I just can’t say if there’s an area of her game that is weak. She’s a hard worker and a great kid.”

With the 2008 season under way, Simon believes that Oakville has the tools and the talent for making another run deep into the state playoffs.

“It’s definitely exciting,” Simon said. “I think that we have a lot of good talent this year and I think that we’ll be pretty good.”

The Tigers’ starting shortstop also is serving as Oakville’s No. 2 starting pitcher this season, a position Simon hasn’t played in several years.

“At first, I was a little nervous because I hadn’t pitched in a while,” Sturm said. “I think that as long as I have my defense behind me, I’ll be fine.”

Sturm said, “I have no qualms at all about her being our No. 2 starter,” Sturm said. “She’s been real solid these past few weeks.”

Simon boasts 11 strikeouts and two saves in five games this season while batting .390 with 1 home run and six doubles.