Behind the fence of the dugout, Janelle Boyd is a happy and enthusiastic cheerleader who can be heard during every chant. The senior even helped create the Archbishop Molloy softball team’s new pregame cheer. She added a special beginning for this season after shortstop Julia Lipovac’s mother gave the team sweatshirts reading, “It’s not about how good you are, it’s how bad you want it.”
“[The chant] goes, ‘It’s not about how good you are, it’s about how bad you want it. So, how bad you want it? Real bad! How bad? Real bad!’” Boyd said.
That’s her demeanor in the dugout. Things change quite a bit when she leaves and steps between the lines and in the circle.
“It’s like business,” Boyd said. “It’s time to kill.”
The right-hander is the most dominant hurler in CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens and is an intimidating presence on the mound — no smiling or chanting there.
Boyd, a drop ball pitcher, features an array of pitches, excellent velocity and superb control. She threw a no-hitter against rival St. Francis Prep in a 1-0 victory on Thursday. Boyd allowed just one base runner, who reached on an error, did not allow a ball out of the infield and struck out seven.
“She gets serious,” senior third baseman Emily Harms said. “She gets business-like. She knows her job. She wants to get it done.”
Boyd, who is considering Shaw University, Norfolk State and Cornell among others, has added a critical new weapon to her arsenal. She is throwing a much-improved rise ball, which she is using as a strikeout pitch when she is ahead in the count.
“Now I have something that gets them [batters] looking up,” Boyd said. “So now my drop ball is more effective than it was before.”
The four-year varsity player helped pitch the Stanners to the Brooklyn/Queens title as a sophomore and nearly made it back-to-back titles last season, but Molloy fell to St. Francis Prep in a wild, three-game series. The pop her ball makes hitting the glove is almost as loud as the one it creates coming off her bat.
Last week, Boyd was seven-for-eight with five RBIs and two doubles in wins over The Mary Louis Academy and Prep. She hit every ball hard and the only time she did not earn a hit was when she reached on a fielder’s choice against St. Francis Prep.
“We are relying on her bat this season,” Molloy Coach Maureen Rosenbaum said.
But Boyd knows her bat is only as good as the ones around her. Leadoff hitter Melissa Kump, Julianne Keyes and Lipovac will need to get on in front of her and Sheri Florio will provide the protection behind her.
“If I hit shots and I get doubles and no one is on base, there’s no RBI,” Boyd said. “It doesn’t affect anything. If the people in front of me do their job, then I can do my job.”
She said she wants to be consistent at the plate and that last season’s loss to St. Francis Prep is a driving factor for her and the Stanners this season.
“I believe the greatest push to success is failure,” Boyd said. “So it just pushes you to be better. It keeps pushing you. You’re hungry for it. You want it.”
Just listen to Boyd and Molloy before the game and you will know just how bad.
©2009 Community News Group
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