Commit Spotlight: 2011 Softball Pitcher takes a look at standout pitcher and 2011 Tiger softball commit

ShowMeMizzou takes a look at a student-athlete who has verbally committed to play softball for Coach Ehren Earleywine as part of Missouri's 2011 recruiting class.

Bailey Erwin 6'3" 195 is the pitcher for class 4A Claremore (OK) Sequoyah High and the Tulsa Shootout competitive team, each coached by Krystel Markwardt. During her junior (2009) season Erwin posted a 28-5 record, and a 0.78 ERA. She was named Will Rogers Conference Pitcher of the Year for the second straight season, and All-Conference for the third straight season. As a freshman in 2007, she was named Will Rogers Conference Newcomer Of The Year, and Player to Watch by Vype High School Sports Magazine.

Coach Markwardt talked about Erwin, whom she has coached year around for over three years.

"Bailey is real reserved," said Erwin's coach. "She's one of those pitchers who shows absolutely zero emotion on the mound............... She's so focused, she doesn't let anything bother her. You're not going to be able to tell the difference whether you're winning or losing with her on the mound. So, when she gets into tough situations, you don't really have to worry about her getting nervous."

"That's one of her assets," continued Coach Markwardt, "is that she doesn't let things bother her, and she doesn't get nervous in tough situations................ She a great player! She's one of those kids that you can count on to do the right thing. Her teammates look up to her to basically carry them in the right direction. She's always been able to step up and take that (leadership) role for us."

Erwin's been working with a pitching coach, and has developed a considerable repertoire, including a rise-ball, a couple of different drop-balls, a change-up, and a curve. Currently, her velocity is in the mid-sixties. She's been very durable, as well. Coach Markwardt indicated that Erwin has great movement on her pitches, and that she expects Bailey's velocity to increase by the time she's in college. That's an expectation that Bailey says is shared by her pitching instructor and by Coach Earleywine. One especially fascinating aspect of Erwin's pitching record is that she registers a very high strike-out total, but rarely walks anyone. She told me that during the 2009 high school season, that she had over 200 strikeouts, and fewer than 15 walks.

Last summer, Erwin posted an 18-6 record, a 1.12 ERA, with 67 strikeouts against only 8 walks while pitching for the Tulsa Shootout gold team, her first year at that level.

Erwin has pitched Claremore Sequoyah to the state play-offs in each of her three seasons. In 2007 and 2009, they reached the semifinals, and in 2008, they made it to the quarterfinals. As a freshman, her (and her team's) record was 27-11, and as a sophomore, she was 27-7. She has pitched every game for her school team for each of the past three seasons.

In addition to Missouri, Bailey Erwin was heavily recruited by Tulsa, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Northern Iowa, among others. She committed on her initial visit to Missouri. She talked about her decision.

"What really led me to (choose Missouri)," said Erwin, "is that I really love the campus, and all the coaches and players were really nice, and they were all really welcoming."

Erwin seems to appreciate the fact that she'll be arriving at Missouri as a freshman at a time when Missouri will have a couple of veteran pitchers on staff. I asked her how she feels about eventually taking over in the circle for a national power like Missouri.

"Honestly, it hasn't really all sunk in yet," replied Bailey. "But, I think I'll be ready when the time comes."

Bailey Erwin will sign with Missouri in November, and identified physical therapy as her preferred course of study.

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