Janae Matos adjusted to college softball scene
Janae Matos was well aware of the rigors of a college softball season, and she was ready to deal with them.
It has been a true transition in the process at Moravian College, but Matos also has kept softball as a constant in her life. Since she was very young, Matos has been involved in all levels of the game, playing the sport on a year-round basis over the past several seasons.
Still, there were some adjustments along the way for the former Catasauqua standout, who helped the Roughies become a household name in the sport.
"I can say that there was a transition period," noted Matos, who is a freshman catcher in the Greyhounds' program. "I went through a period to get acclimated to everything about the game at this level.
"The difference in the speed of the game at this level is definitely the biggest issue to deal with."
Yet, Matos adjusted to her new surroundings roughly about the halfway point of the season.
"It was then when I was completely comfortable with everything," she stated. "I knew it would be different behind the plate, but that's what I came here to do.
"Calling pitches in this game is different because you don't have as much time as you do in high school. I worked with two freshmen pitchers, so we were really all learning the game together.
"We all worked to gain the sense of trust we have with each other now."
Matos also realized how there is little room for error in college.
"You can't make some of the mistakes in high school and get away with it," said Matos. "(Head) Coach (John) Byrne lets us know when we make a mistake and we have to fix it.
"The expectations in the program are high, and we need to continue to work on that type of level."
Matos said the club plays approximately 40 games a year, and finished with a 38-8 overall record with an extended postseason. The Greyhounds won the Landmark Conference, the NCAA Division III Regional and then advanced to the NCAA Super Regional before their season ended. They finished 14th overall in the NFCA Division III Top 25 poll.
"Everyone expects a lot from this program," said Matos. "We had a great season this year and a lot of us can really take something from this. I feel like I have become a better catcher defensively already."
On the offensive side of the game, Matos also has made some changes.
"I felt like I was getting my bat on the ball better late in the season," said Matos, who finished with a .211 batting average in her 32 starts in 34 overall games. "I was seeing the ball better and had to adjust to the speed of the pitchers. I feel I can put everything together better."
Matos, who is a psychology/ sociology major, took some time off from the Greyhounds' season that ended in early May and will play for a Lehigh Valley based traveling team during the summer. She will resume weight-training and aerobics workouts during the late fall and winter.
With a solid year behind her, Matos believes she is ready for the next step.
"It was different this year and challenging," added Matos. "I learned and adjusted to many things. I know I will be a better player next season."