By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN
EXETER – There are batters and then there is Exeter’s Corinne Acosta. The former right-hander turned lefty has obliterated pitchers this season. As she has taken one pitch after another for a ride her batting average has risen to an astronomical number of .702 according to Maxpreps.com.
“I don’t even know how I am doing this,” Acosta said. “It is just I am on a role and it keeps on going.”
Currently Acosta is second in the Central Section behind Frazier Mountains’ Chaynau Johnson (.733). This season she has batted more perfect games with seven than below the five hundred mark. The last time she fell below .500 was during a 5-4 loss to Selma on April 4. In the seven games since then she has hit a .624 average. Even that number is impressive and would keep her inside the top ten in the section. Out of her 66 total hits this season she has 16 for extra bases. Three of those are for the first homeruns of her high school career.
When Acosta was an incoming freshman the Monarch coaching staff knew what they were getting. Having already coached her older sister Amanda they knew Corinne had potential. Corinne did not disappoint as she made the varsity team her first year as a right hander. It wasn’t long before the coaching staff made the move to switch her to the other side of the plate. The main reason according to assistant Johnson was her speed.
“She really wasn’t a power hitter as a right hander so we just worked on speed because she would tap the ball and run,” Johnson said.
At first Corinne had her doubts about the switch. Luckily for her Amanda was in her senior year. Having already gone through the change she was Corinne’s guiding voice to trust what the coaches were teaching her. Corinne hit a .434 average in her first season batting left handed.
“I started telling myself, ‘if she can do it then I can do it’,” Corinne said.
Corinne’s confidence began to grow and during her sophomore season she jumped into the upper half of batting averages finishing with a .512. The constant improvement made placing Corinne in the leadoff spot an easy decision. While more than capable with 77 hits through her first two seasons she is still getting use to the pressure the spot provides.
One way she deals with it is by switching up her hitting. As a freshman she might have been known just for her speed. Now a bunt with her speed is as good as a triple off the outfield fence. Learning how to hit the ball different ways was something that has always interested her due to what it does to a defense.
“That really affects the defense because they never really know what I am going to do,” Corinne said.
Once Corinne gets on base, and it happens a lot with her .728 percentage she is just as lethal. This season she has 40 stolen base attempts. Of those attempts she has stolen 39 successfully. Most of those steal attempts come on the first pitch after reaching safely.
“I hope me stealing bases scares them,” Corinne said.