Delaney Glazer admits to being a little overzealous as an eighth grader in regards to the Rochester High School fastpitch program. She just couldn’t wait to put on that Warriors’ jersey and play ball.
Four years ago, months away from beginning her freshman year of high school, Glazer would constantly be at the Rochester fastpitch fields. It didn’t matter if it was a game or a practice. If the opportunity presented itself, she’d go and watch, and typically interact with the squad.
“I just really wanted to be a part of the program,” Glazer said. “I wanted the coaches to know who I was. I wanted them to see how dedicated I was going to be once I got on the team. So I was trying to make my name known.”
Now, you can’t think of Warriors’ fastpitch without Glazer’s name immediately popping up. The girl who was so giddy to play for the team has become one of its best players ever.
A four-year starter and multiple-time all-conference selection, Glazer has been instrumental in helping Rochester’s progression from a 1A/2A hybrid program to a playoff contender in easily the toughest district in the state.
“It’s been so much fun to see this team evolve over the years,” Glazer said. “It’s astonishing to me actually. I can’t believe how much we’ve come together. Since my freshman year, it’s always been about everyone working for each other around here.”
There were the late nights and the increased Saturday practices, but every time Glazer thought about easing up on the effort she put into improving her game, she would default back to the conversation she had early in her sophomore year with teammates Hunter Hahn and Bella Phelps.
“That was the turning point for us. That was when the three of us really decided we were going to do everything we could to improve Rochester fastpitch,” said Glazer. “We all came together and decided that we were going to make this work.”
Hahn and Phelps have since graduated, but the goal for Glazer remains the same – get the Warriors to the state playoffs for just the second time in program history and the first since 2000.
“The plan since I first got here has always been to get to state,” Glazer said. “That’s what we’re always working for.”
The team came one win away from accomplishing the feat last season, losing to eventual 2A state champion Woodland in a game that determined the third and final state playoff berth out of the Southwest District 4 tournament.
It was a bittersweet end to the a stellar season as they watched Woodland parlay its victory over the Warriors to a state title, but at the same time it provided Glazer and her teammates with some motivation for this year.
“I think last year showed that when we come in and play with confidence, we can play with anyone,” said Glazer, who will play next year at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. “We can go to state this year and that’s the mentality.”
As a junior, Glazer was phenomenal both in the circle and in the batter’s box. She struck out 110 batters in 93 innings of work, while battling .556 with 19 RBI.
She’s been just as dominating this year as a senior.
“She’s more fearless than last year. I think a lot of that comes with being a senior,” Rochester coach Dave Montgomery said. “Last year she would mention a few hitters that she was really worried about in the league and that would get into her head a little bit. This year she still knows who the tough hitters are, but she just isn’t worried and rises to the challenge.”
Through the first seven games this season, Glazer has 42 strikeouts and a 1.35 ERA in 27 innings, while hitting .438.
“Delaney is one of the smartest players I’ve coached. She knows the game and usually is very intelligent at bats. She can be a really tough out for the other team,” Montgomery said. “She’s one of the hardest workers you’ll see on the field and in the batting cages. She’s also become a real leader on the team, which is important as she’s the lone senior in the program this year.”
Even though Montgomery states Glazer has “probably the best stuff of any pitcher I have been able to coach,” he believes it’s her guidance, team-first attitude, and competitiveness that will have the longest lasting effect on his young team.
“The freshmen have taken on big roles and been team players and the energy has been great this year. I think this is the best team and the most fun I’ve ever had playing in all my years here,” Glazer said. “It’s exciting to see how far we’ve come as a program, but it’s also exciting to see how well we do this year.”