Unlike most superstar high school softball players, Isabella Egizio didn’t get the opportunity to master a certain position in preparation for college.
During her four-year varsity career playing at Wilmington, the utility player had seen just as much action playing in the outfield as she did in the infield.
“Isabella has a killer instinct when it comes to the game of softball, and she wants to win,” Wilmington head coach Jack Skole said. “She’s one of those kids that we had play different positions. While she was here, she started off as an infielder, and then we eventually moved her to the outfield due to her speed.”
Her ability to adapt at any position and be successful was perhaps because of her strong mentality on the diamond.
“In the next level, you have to have what she has, which is having that winning, cocky attitude,” Skole said. “It’s just one of those things that some kids have and some kids never get, and she’s got that.
“She knows she can play, and she has the determination and gut-perseverance that you need to make it through the next level.”
Egizio finished her Wilmington softball career with a career .457 batting average, .543 on base percentage and 82 runs scored. In addition, she also held it down in the field as well, posting a career .920 fielding percentage.
Her consistency during her career helped Egizio make All-Academic (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020), Interstate Eight All-Conference (2019, 2020), All-State Second-Team (2019) and Daily Journal’s All-Area (2019) honors.
Even so, her successes went beyond individual honors as well. During her junior year, her last season as a Wildcat, Egizio helped lead Wilmington to an Interstate Eight Conference championship and regional crown during the 2019 season.
Going forward, Egizio will head to Lehigh University, an NCAA Division I softball program in Bethlehem, Pa., next season, where she believes she will be used as a utility player as well.
Looking to study as a physician’s assistant, Egizio decided Lehigh was the perfect fit for her because of the balance between the school’s academic and athletic programs.
“Lehigh was the right fit for me because they had a good balance between academics and softball,” Egizio said. “I knew I wanted more academics over softball because I’ve always put school ahead of softball.”
Because her senior season was canceled by COVID-19, Egizio has been working out both mentally and physically in hopes of having an immediate effect next season as a freshman.
“I’ve been working out; our trainer at Lehigh has been sending us workouts, and mentally, I’ve been having Zoom meetings with the team,” Egizio said. “I also have been playing softball with the New Lenox Lighting since mid-June.”
After coaching Egizio for the past four years, Coach Skole has no doubt Egizio will be able to succeed at the next level.
“I think her attitude of wanting to win will help her at the next level,” Skole said. “When you play college sports, a lot of kids get to college and it’s not the same for them. I think for her mentally, she’s going to fit in well at Lehigh … and she’s got the speed that will probably give her playing time right away.”
Skole said he believes if his team had had an opportunity to play this season, they would have had a decent shot at making a deep run.
“In the 20 years that I’ve been here, I can legitimately say that this year’s team was the team that had the best chance at making it down to state, and Isabella was a huge part of that,” Skole said. “I will miss her attitude, speed and confidence she created amongst other players when she would get on base.”
Now that her high school career is over, Egizio will be forced to leave her teammates who she played with dating back to her T-ball days.
“I’ll miss playing with the group of girls that I have grown up playing softball [with],” Egizio said. “I’m pretty sure there [were] nine of us this year, and we’ve been together since T-ball, and we all are a very close group of girls.”