Softball superstar: Eastern’s Mariah Wysocki works hard, stays humble

Mariah Wysocki holds Eastern Regional High School’s career home run record with 17, and the single season home run record with 6. She has a total of 102 hits and 74 RBIs.

When she joined Eastern Regional High School’s softball team, Mariah Wysocki’s dad told her she would never make it to 100 hits. He wanted her to focus more on the game instead of herself, and ensure that when she did pass that milestone, it would be a surprise.

Mariah, now a senior, passed that milestone earlier this season, but it wasn’t much of a surprise.

She holds the team’s record for career home runs, hitting 17 in her four years on the team. Six of them were this season — another record in itself.

She also has 102 hits and 74 RBIs in her career.

Despite this, Mariah said she tried not to make the game all about setting records.

“The game is all about having fun and playing with the girls I grew up with,” she said.

She’s been on the field since she was 10, and has been playing for the New Jersey Gators since she was in eighth grade. Softball is a year-round activity for her; as soon as one team’s season is done, she transitions to the other.

“I prefer having no off time,” she said. “It’s a game that I love with people who I like.”

She took her father’s advice when she recorded her 100th hit by focusing on the team rather than herself. A teammate was on second base, and when Mariah stepped up to bat, it was her intention to get her across home plate.

“That ended up being my 100th hit,” she said.

Talking to Mariah, it’s immediately clear she has an optimistic view on life. She cited her favorite softball memory as a game played against Egg Harbor Township High School during the finals her junior year. The game had gone into extra innings.

“Everyone was on the edge of their seats,” she said. “It was my favorite game because of how well everyone on both teams played.”

Eastern ended up losing the game, but that didn’t sour Mariah’s opinion.

“I prefer challenging games because of the adrenaline rush you get during the big moments,” she said. “Both teams played so well.”

Mariah broke her leg last October, and underwent two surgeries and rehab before she was able to play again. Still, she took away only positives from the experience.

“It taught me how important my family and all of my friends are as my support system,” she said. She said her parents, grandmother and brother all motivate her in different ways.

Her parents were her first coaches, her grandmother is her biggest fan who calms her down between innings, and her brother was her biggest childhood rival who motivated her to improve.

Breaking her leg was also the “cherry on top” that helped her decide to study nursing in college. She said seeing all the technology and care that go into healing a person is what drew her into the field. Next year, she is committed to play softball at Bloomfield College.

Eastern softball coach Laura Paquette described Mariah as one of the most coachable kids she has worked with at Eastern.

“She truly enjoys everything about the sport, and those are the kind of kids you love to see succeed,” Paquette said. “We will miss her at shortstop, a luxury I have taken advantage of over the past four years, but I know she will be a huge asset to her program in college.”

She’ll play on the Gators again this summer before heading to Bloomfield. This summer, the Gators will travel to Texas, Tennessee and California.