Oregon State signee Abby Fischer excels in the game and in the classroom
VANCOUVER — The goal was set a long time ago, when she was in the sixth grade. Back then Abby Fischer knew she wanted to play college softball.
Now a senior at Skyview High School, Fischer is just a few months away from heading to Corvallis, to begin her collegiate career in one of the toughest conferences in America.
“It makes me so excited to go to college and experience that type of competition, with all the girls who share the same passion,” said Fischer, a quality hitter who also provides brilliance behind the plate as a catcher. “I love it. I love the feeling. I love thinking about it.”
Fischer has had plenty of time to think about her decision to play for Oregon State. She gave her verbal agreement to sign with the Beavers back when she was a sophomore.
This past November, she got to sign her name.
The letter of intent sealed the deal. That made it official.
“It was a little surreal, honestly. I had waited for that moment for years,” she said. “Now I’m going to the school for sure now, to play softball, to get my education. It was a sense of relief.”
Notice she said education.
Softball is a huge part of her life, but she is going to Oregon State to become a geneticist. She wants to take her skills that she has learned at Skyview’s Science, Math, and Technology magnet program to study biology at OSU.
While she is known for her softball skills, she also should be celebrated for her academic abilities. A member of the National Honor Society, Fischer holds a grade-point average of around 3.85.
“It’s definitely a priority for me, and a huge priority for my parents,” she said.
In fact, she gives credit to parents Nicole and Eric for so many of her achievements.
Her motivation started with school.
“They want to give me the most opportunities in life. They pushed me so I could get the best grades possible so I could have more opportunities,” she said. “It has always been that way. If you have anything lower than a B, what extra credit can you do?”
It is a love-hate thing at times.
“I really appreciate my parents caring a lot about my grades,’’ she said. “Some days, though, I just want to lay in bed, not do my homework. I know long-haul, I’m going to appreciate and be thankful for my parents pushing me to do everything on time.”
That focus carried over into her softball.
“I loved the sport so much, I knew I wanted to play after high school,” she said, recalling the moment she knew softball was so important to her, when she was in the sixth grade.
She also was in on a little secret: Fischer acknowledged that she was not a natural. Things did not come easily for her. Instead, the passion for the sport led to her desire to get better and better at it.
She knew she would have to put in the time to achieve her dream. Just like she attacked academics. Instead of extra credit, it was extra work.
She found extra repetitions with catching clinics two or three times a week in Oregon. Eventually, her parents would drive her to West Linn or Tualatin almost every day.
She started hitting every day, as well, either at home into a net or staying late after practice, just to get 20 more minutes worth of swings.
Skyview coach Kim Anthony said it has been a joy to be around that type of work ethic.
“She did catching lessons, hitting lessons, she was in the weight room. She has put so much effort into it,” Anthony said. “There are different kinds of leaders. Her leadership style is hard work. She sets the expectation.”
The coach added that she meant that on the field and in the classroom. Fischer is the example of student-athlete, Anthony said.
Fischer took a moment to reflect when she heard her coach’s comments.
“It actually makes me feel really good that she sees the work I put in,” Fischer said. “I just go out and push myself to get better.”
One measurable difference in her catching abilities has been her “throw-down” to second base. A good time to try to catch a would-be base stealer, she said, is 1.8 seconds.
“I worked so much with my throwing, my arm strength, and learning to throw from my knees, I got my average throw-down time to 1.6 seconds,” she said.
To the non softball fan, that might not sound like much.
“With a bang-bang play, that’s huge,” Fischer said.
So she was recruited for her catching skills, right? Well, maybe not. She also crushed the ball at a couple of camps at Oregon State in her younger years. The Beavers know she can hit, too.
“But I probably take more pride in my catching because of the countless hours I put into it,” she said.
She also has put in her time with the Storm. This is her fourth year on varsity. And while the team is struggling early this season, Fischer loves being part of this program. This is her home.
“I feel very proud to be representing Skyview,” Fischer said. “I’m proud to wear the S, Skyview on my jersey.”
Next year at this time, she will be wearing Oregon State colors. But in her bio, it will say she is from Vancouver, from Skyview.
Clark County is where she picked up her will to succeed.
She chose Oregon State for its science program, but it was Skyview where she first fell in love with biology when she was a freshman.
Softball is one of her loves, of course. But the academics mean even more to her.
Abby Fischer and Skyview made for the perfect combination for a high school athlete.