Woodlands Academy standout pitcher signs letter of intent

Abby Moravek, who played a vital role in the Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart softball team’s highly successful 2021 season, has signed a National Letter of Intent to continue her athletic and academic journey at Amherst College in Massachusetts. The senior from Libertyville was one of the pitchers named to the 24-member 2021 Illinois Coaches Association Class 1A All-State Softball Second Team.

That distinction came on the heels of Moravek being named the nine-team Independent School League’s (ISL) 2021 Softball Player of the Year for the second consecutive time. When she first won the award, in 2019, her achievements included pitching a perfect game in the Wildcats’ IHSA Class 1A Girls Softball Regional semi-final game, her second no-hitter that year.

Moravek’s ERA for the 2021 season was 1.09. She struck out 169 for an average of 12 per game or 2.3 per innings pitched. And her impressive stats are not limited to the mound. At the plate, Moravek was the Wildcats’ top batter last season with a .500 average and an on-base percentage of .583. In addition, she had 22 RBIs and four home runs – one of which was a grand slam.

The 2021 Wildcats team got off to a strong start, winning their first 11 games enroute to the ISL championship. The Wildcats’ winning streak included non-conference victories over Lake Forest, Highland Park and Round Lake high schools. They finished the season with a record of 12-3.  Moravek (11-3) pitched all but one of those games. Woodlands Academy was undefeated in the ISL. Its three losses were to Regina, Grayslake Central and, finally, to Earlville in the IHSA Girls Softball 1A regionals. 

“Abby’s ability to focus was crucial to our success,” coach Rosemary Briesch said. “She is also extremely supportive to her teammates making her as important to the team as a leader as she is as an athlete.”

Woodlands Academy Athletic Director Mark Burke says Amherst College, a member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference, has one of the top Division III softball programs in the country. Academically, he adds, Amherst is one of the most selective colleges. Moravek’s academic achievements include being named a 2022 Illinois State Scholar in recognition of an especially high potential for success in college.

“Congratulations to Abby and her family; we are so proud of her,” Burke said. “We look forward to following Abby as a member of the Mammoths softball team as she continues her athletic journey.”

Moravek’s achievements are the result, at least in part, of an early motivation. One of her first softball coaches told her that she could not pitch. From that moment on, Moravek set her sights on proving him wrong.