Issaquah pitcher makes seamless transition to the Ivy League mound
May 10, 2011
By Sean Beighton
A former softball standout for the Issaquah High School Eagles is making a name for herself in the Ivy League.
Mikenzie Voves, now a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, caught the attention of Ivy League coaches, earning Rookie of the Week on March 29. Voves pitched three games the weekend of March 25-26, including a complete game win against Lehigh University, breaking their eight-game winning streak. Over her three games, she picked up two wins and had an ERA of just 2.93.
“Winning rookie of the week was an incredible feeling. It made me realize just how far I have come, and that no matter what anyone says I have accomplished my goal,” Voves said. “It also makes me want to work even harder. Getting that recognition just puts a big target on my back, so I need to step up my game even more.”
Playing softball is like a job for Voves, making her transition from high school to college seamless.
“In college, it is definitely your ‘job,’” she said. “The environment is completely different, because in college you are surrounded by girls who are just as passionate about the sport as you are.”
Voves’ high school coach Jim Magnuson said he isn’t surprised by her solid rookie performance thus far.
“Everybody knew that when she was on the mound she dominated most teams,” Magnuson said. “She was always focused. It was like a job for her, not that ‘rah rah’ stuff.”
Since earning rookie of the week, Voves has improved to an 8-7 record. That is more than twice as many wins as any other pitcher on the Pennsylvania Quakers’ squad. She also leads the team with an ERA of just 4.12.
Magnuson praised her as a high school player, expressing how well she led by example.
“One thing she did well was that she had a good change-up,” he said. “She moved the ball around a lot.”
Voves led her high school team to a KingCo League championship in 2008 and 2009, and a district championship in 2010 as a senior.
“She is a tenacious competitor,” Magnuson said. “She absolutely hates to lose.”
Sean Beighton is a student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.