FULTON, Ill. — JoLynn Frederick is just one of the guys.
She (yes, she) also is a huge contributor to the Fulton Unity Christian baseball team, which shut out Quad Cities Christian 10-0 in five innings on Tuesday at Drives Park. Frederick is the second baseman for the Knights, and she was 2-for-2 on a dreary afternoon.
“It’s so much fun being the only girl on the team,” Frederick said. “They treat me like one of the guys, and winning is so much fun with these guys, too. It makes us closer as a team.”
Frederick confirms the perception that playing softball, as she’d done for 11 years before joining Fulton Unity (6-3), is different than playing baseball.
“It’s so much different,” she said. “For softball, the pitch is coming up at you at like, 40 to 50 miles per hour, but in baseball, the ball is coming down at 80 miles per hour.”
Frederick got a single to lead off the second inning, stole second base, then later scored via an infield single from center fielder Shawn Hintz. Then, she singled again as the leadoff hitter in the fifth inning. Hintz brought her in on a single to left field for the game’s eighth run.
“She loves baseball, and fits right in with the boys,” Unity coach Roy Wilson said. “She’s a great baseball player; she plays a good second base, works hard on her hitting, so it’s like having another guy on the team.”
“She kind of fits in, so it’s not weird having her on the team,” Eric Medenblik, Unity’s starting pitcher, said. “She’s one of us; we accept her, and it’s great she’s on the team.”
Medenblik, meanwhile, struck out eight Eagles hitters and allowed five baserunners. QC Christian had a chance to score in the second inning before its pitcher was tagged out at the plate following an errant throw to first from third baseman Alex Hoppe.