OLIVET, Mich. (WLNS) – Softball season has arrived in Mid-Michigan and Olivet’s Isabella Strader is off to what you would call a stellar junior campaign. In the Eagle’s game against Quincy last week, she entered into some elite company pitching the first perfect game Olivet has seen at the varsity level in quite some time.

Courtesy: Olivet Softball

“I don’t think I had realized it,” Strader said. “I was like ‘Yay, we won!’ And then I had to think about it and I was like ‘Oh, wait a minute, I think I just pitched a perfect game!’ It was never really a goal of mine, I’ve just always just tried to win and get as many outs as I can for my team.”

“In the third inning I started to feel it,” Michelle Cooper, Olivet’s Softball Coach said. “I just knew and I could read her. There was something about her demeanor on that field and I either know I have to step in and calm her down or I just have to back up, shut up and let her roll with it. This year that kid has just taken off. She’s just rolled with it and gave me a perfect game which was so awesome.”

The mound isn’t the only place Strader finds success. Just two days after pitching her perfect game, she knocked out three home runs in the teams meeting with Lansing Catholic. She currently has the highest batting average on the team sitting at just under .600, proving she might just be Mid-Michigan’s version of MLB superstar Shohei Ohtani.

Courtesy: Olivet Softball

“Hitting is contagious, and I think when one of my teammates started hitting, even just a little bit I was like, ‘All right, yeah, let’s get it!’ Strader said. “I wanted a certain pitch and even when I didn’t get that pitch, I just had so much confidence to go and trust my hitting abilities and my mechanics so I just went for it.”

“She fails just like the rest of us and she gets back up just like the rest of us, but I never have to second guess the decisions Bella is gonna make up there,” Cooper said. “We’re human. She strikes out but when she gets a hold of that ball I don’t even need to look. Just the sound it makes and I am like ‘Yes, let’s go!’

Even at the high school level, it is unique to find a two-way player like Strader, so where does her desire to be dangerous on both sides of the ball come from?

“I have always been really dangerous in the box and I think that has always come really naturally to me,” Strader said. “For pitching, everyone was like ‘Bella you have to pitch.’ And I just said went with it. At first, it wasn’t as good as I remembered but then just something about this team and everything made me realize why I do what I do and why I kept working so hard this pre-season in the basement on my pitches. Now I am finally seeing that pay off.”