Some pitchers dance around the strike zone.
Corinne Mundy just dances and throws strikes.
Mundy is a junior on the Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush High School softball team, and if you’ve seen her pitch, you would probably think she dedicates all of her time to perfecting her craft.
This year, she has the Knights sitting pretty at 7-1, including seven straight wins after dropping their first game of the season.
She’s been a primary reason, maintaining a 2.50 earned run average and averaging nearly 10 strikeouts a game. She also is doing it at the plate with three home runs and 11 RBIs on the season.
But she’s not just a softball player. In fact, she might even be more of a dancer.
“I came to Rush because I wanted to be in their dance program, it’s really good,” the Parkwood resident and St. Anselm graduate said. “I love dance. I do tap, jazz, ballet, the whole shabang. I love both dance and softball, and they have a lot in common.
“I think the biggest thing is footwork and just getting prepared to compete. Softball helped me focus on dance, and dancing helped me with my footwork for softball. When you’re a pitcher, it’s a lot like dancing. I think dancing might be even easier because you do it every day, and you’re not going against hitters. Both are hard, but I love it. Dancing gets easier every day because you do it, but pitching doesn’t really.”
Mundy is now trying to help the Knights dance to a Public League championship.
Rush dropped its opener against Northeast, but since then has some impressive victories, including triumphs over Franklin Towne Charter and Philadelphia Academy Charter, with the Knights winning that one, 13-9, in 10 innings.
In that win over last year’s Public League runner-up, Mundy pitched all 10 innings and notched 16 strikeouts to go along with just two walks.
This has certainly been her best year on the mound, but she’s been working on this since she started playing softball when she was 8 years old. And she immediately was put on the pitcher’s mound. It came with the territory.
“I was always the coach’s kid, so they used me as a pitcher,” Mundy said. “My mom was a softball player and she was my coach. She coaches (at Rush) now as an assistant. She was a really good softball player, and she taught me a lot.
“I was pretty good when I started, but I’ve gotten better. This year has been my best, it’s the whole team, it’s been the best for us.”
Pitching can single-handedly help a team win, but Mundy is quick to point out the Knights aren’t a one-man show. She spreads the credit out to every member of the roster and acknowledges her battery mate, Jaime Dagostino, has played a big role in her success.
The fellow junior has developed great chemistry with Mundy and has become a great leader behind the plate.
“She calls the game,” Mundy said of Dagostino. “She does a great job with it. She knows what pitches I want to throw, we almost always have the same thing in mind. She’s become really good at it, and it helps me a lot.
“She started calling it last year, and we’ve gotten so good working together this year. The whole team has worked this way. This has been a really fun year.”
Mundy has high hopes for both this season and next.
The Public League is as tough as it ever is, and it’s hard for a small school like Rush to win a league championship, but that’s the ultimate goal for her and the Knights.
She knows that means she must continue to improve. She’s already increased her velocity to more than 50 miles per hour on her fastball, and she continues to perfect her other pitches.
“I like to make people miss and make them chase,” Mundy said. “I’m always working on throwing faster pitches.”
That’s exactly what colleges want, and Mundy fully expects to continue her softball career after high school. And the better she does at Rush, the more opportunities she’ll have.
“I want to pitch in college so I want to keep getting better,” said Mundy, a power hitter who can also play in the infield. “I’ve hit 52 miles per hour. I’m trying to get better. That will help.
“This year has been really good for our team. The Public League is tough, but we have a lot of good players. We’ve beat some really good teams. We’ve played well, but we’re still trying to get better.
“I’m not surprised we’re doing well. We had a good team last year, and almost everyone is back. We have good players and we have great chemistry from playing together so long. But if we want to win, we have to play better.”
If they do, Mundy will just have another reason to dance.
A dance of celebration.