Huge numbers at the plate for Rohrback | SierraSun.com

Huge numbers at the plate for Rohrback

Sylas Wright
Sierra Sun
Submitted photoJulie Rohrback connects for a homerun earlier this year.
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A double-take is the natural reaction when glancing at Julie Rohrback’s prodigious offensive statistics this season.

Rohrback, a four-year varsity player who shifted from third base to shortstop this year, finished the regular season with a .643 batting average, a 69 percent on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of 1071. In 56 at bats during the regular season, she collected 36 hits, 23 RBI, nine doubles, three triples and three home runs. She also scored 31 times while striking out only five times.

Rohrback’s offensive production did not go unnoticed by five-year Truckee High softball coach Mitch Brown.

“She is one probably one of the finest softball players to ever come through Truckee High School,” Brown said of his shortstop.

But how did Rohrback become such a polished hitter?

Ultimately, Brown said, it’s because of her “practice-makes-perfect attitude and intensity.”

And, Brown said, “she’s a very patient hitter.”

“She picks the ball she’d like to hit and hits it hard,” he said. “She’s not selfish. She’ll wait for her pitch, and if she doesn’t get it, she’ll take a walk.”

Usually.

“Sometimes,” Rohrback said, “I just want to hit so bad and help the team out that I get a little over anxious, and swing at bad pitches. This year I’ve been able to really see the ball, and I’ve become more selective.”

On the subject of hitting, Rohrback said she has worked with a number of hitting coaches in the past in attempt to find “the right method.”

“I finally found it this year,” she said. “It’s gotten really good this year, to where I really want to be, especially in this league. I’ve kind of matured in knowing what I need to do in there, and not having so many mind games.”

When naming the keys to attaining such a high average, Rohrback broke it down to a simple equation: “Not thinking, seeing the ball and just waiting for your pitch.”

Rohrback can steal bases, too, as evidenced by her team-leading 23 swipes during the regular season. Of course, reaching base 69 percent of the time is a factor, but Rohrback said there are other Wolverines ” although the next most prolific base stealer is Kelly Stephens, with five ” who are swifter on their feet. So without blinding speed, Rohrback said she relies on other base-stealing weapons.

“I’m not the fastest on the team,” she said, “but I get good jumps and I’m a smart base runner. I know when to go and when not to.”

When asked if Rohrback had any weaknesses in her game, Brown, after mulling the question for a moment, said, “Throwing.”

“She’s got a cannon for an arm,” he said, “but sometimes we’re not sure where that cannon ball is going to land.”

But her “phenomenal range,” as well as her sure-handed first baseman, Dani Turner, make up for it.

Rohrback is in the process of electing a junior college to play at next year. The top candidates are Shasta College ” where she visited on Monday ” and Sierra College.

“Their programs are really similar,” she said. “They both have really good coaches and a really good program. But I don’t know. It’s either like four hours away or one hour away, so I don’t know.”

Brown said he is confident that she’ll do fine at any junior college. In fact, he thinks she developed into a player with Division 1 talent, but has not yet received recognition for it.

Wherever Rohrback chooses to go, she is sure to switch back to her former position at third base, where she played until this year.

She’s also sure to miss her hometown, as well as her teammates.

“I like the small-town atmosphere and knowing people,” Rohrback said of Truckee. “I’m going to miss the girls, too. All of them have such good attitudes. They’re funny and they’re all very team-orientated.”

In preparation for the college leap, Rohrback said she will play on a tournament team from Reno this summer, called the Nevada Lightning.