New approach working for ’Hounds Matos
After two seasons, Janae Matos realized that she had to take a more patient approach at the plate for the Moravian softball team.
“I knew I had to be a lot more calmer,” said the former Catasauqua standout. “I am finding and waiting on better pitches. During my first two years, I was swinging at everything in the strike zone.
“This year, I am seeing everything better. I’m waiting on pitches and I’m in a really good zone right now.”
Matos has posted the numbers to prove it.
With the recent end of the regular season, the junior catcher is hitting a team-high .525 and leading the team in RBIs with 42. She has three homers, 22 runs, and team highs in doubles (21) and hits (53), in the process, Matos also tops the team in slugging percentage (.822) and on-base percentage (.608).
“She’s having a career year,” said Moravian head coach John Byrne. “She’s seeing the ball real well and has come through big for us throughout the season.
“She has been a real leader on the team and is doing a great job behind the plate for us.”
Matos credits her recent success to assistant coach Josh Baltz. She drew some comparisons to her junior year at Catasauqua when she helped her team to the league title and district final.
“He watched me during the offseason,” said Matos. “He said that my swing was fine, but I had to be more selective at the plate and look for better pitches. He really helped me put everything in perspective.
“I have been really seeing the ball well and this is the best that I have felt out there. Everything seems to be falling right for me.”
Behind the plate, Matos also has found a comfort zone. She had 191 putouts and zero errors in 37 regular-season games.
“Defense always has been the best part of my game,” she said. “I really feel good behind the plate. There hasn’t been a girl who has run on me since we left Florida. I really have a good relationship with my pitchers.”
The Greyhounds, considered to have one of the best pitching staffs in Division III, will take an overall 34-4 record into the Landmark Conference playoffs this weekend. Like her playing days at Catasauqua, Matos knows teams are gunning for them.
“Beating us can make some team’s season,” Matos said. “But it has been fun to play this year and we are tough to beat. It hypes us more knowing teams are out for us. We really don’t feel any pressure during the regular season, but we know there is more to lose in the postseason.”
Along with achieving high marks on the field, Matos has maintained a 3.5 average in her psychology/sociology major.
“It is actually easier to study during the season because we have so much less time,” Matos said. “You have to do what you need to do when you can. It is all about managing everything the best you can.”
So far, Matos has been doing it well.