Lanky Lombardo stands out for New Berlin Eisenhower softball
Sophomore led NOW All-Suburban Team in RBIs
Sometimes a sophomore on a championship team doesn't stand out. But that is not a problem for New Berlin Eisenhower first baseman Stephanie Lombardo.
It's easy to spot Lombardo in a crowd — she's the one towering over her teammates. But put a bat in her hand and the 6-foot, 2-inch second-year player is even more impressive.
Lombardo, who batted third in the Lions' lineup, led the team in at bats (73), hits (41), home runs (eight), total bases (75), RBIs (38), a .562 batting average, a .577 on-base average and a 1.027 slugging mark.
Working in the field
Lombardo, who had hurt her arm as a freshman and had to be a designated hitter for most of the year, gave the Lions an added dimension this season when she took over first base.
"Last year she played a big role," senior teammate Katie Lang said. "She improved, worked hard. She hit some homers in season. She is dedicated, and when we make bad throws, we know she'll get everything."
She was a good target for her infielders and she was an excellent fielder, making three errors in 109 chances for a .927 fielding percentage.
"I enjoy first base; I love playing first," Lombardo said. "Whether diving for a foul fly ball, at 6-2 I can stab wild throws. I know if I stretch, we can still get the runner."
As a result of her great season, Lombardo was named the first baseman on the 2013 NOW All-Suburban Softball Team. Her impressive 38 RBIs led all hitters.
"Steph and I were playing in the same (summer) tournament last Saturday," said New Berlin West shortstop, Mallory Klotz, also a member of the NOW All-Suburban Team.
"Steph was playing in a U16 tournament and I was playing in the U18 one. Someone hit a home run about 225 feet. We heard the roar of the crowd and saw it was Steph.
"She crushes the ball. We're afraid of her with runners on base. She has been very successful."
Ready at the plate
Lombardo admits that the best part of her game and the part she likes the most is hitting.
"I've been hitting ever since before I could walk," she said. "I batted third this year and with the two players (Katie Schlegel and Nicole Pandl) ahead of me when I would get hits, I would bring them around.
"I've been working hard on my swing. I was like 1-for-11 to start the year, but then in one game I hit three homers and I went off from there."
Lombardo works on the mental part of the game also.
"When I feel really confident, I hit everything," she said. "I don't like to walk, so I swing at everything. One game I was 7-for-7 with two homers. I hit balls that were really low, high, outside and I tried to hit everything."
Lombardo focuses on softball all year, going to college camps and softball tournaments, and one of her goals is to play college softball.
She is certainly off to a good start.
Two other members of the Lions also earned mention on the NOW All-Suburban Team.
Katie Schlegel earned high honorable mention, just missing first team. Sam Lewiston earned honorable mention.
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