|Written by George Werner|
|Thursday, 03 April 2014 12:46|
Camp Verde High School junior pitcher Madison Garcia has not been in this position before.
The Cowboys’ 18-1 home win over Williams in four innings on Saturday, March 29, marked the first time she had been asked to pitch the second game of a doubleheader.
“Earlier [the first game], I was pretty bad,” she said. “I got down on myself. But then, in the middle of the game, I heard I was probably pitching and I picked up.”
As a freshman and sophomore, Garcia had hurled every game but those. This season, with Garcia academically ineligible the first eight games, sophomores Taya Smith and Dusty Dowdle picked up the slack, combining to win 12 of the Cowboys’ first 16 games.
“And you know what? Dusty proved she could belong in pitching those second games,” Garcia said. As for Smith, who missed all of last season due to a shoulder injury, “whenever we’re pitching, we’re always competing against each other.”
Most state high school softball teams Division III or lower have one reliable pitcher they have to count on throughout their schedule. To have a rotation of two, much less the three hurlers the Cowboys can throw at opponents, is a luxury.
“We really don’t have a rotation,” head softball coach Henry Smith said. “It depends on how they feel that day when they get to the ballpark. I keep all the pitchers on equal [ground]. We try to keep it really simple that way.”
This is a prime reason why CVHS leads Section IV by two games and has a 8-4 record overall against non-sectional opponents this spring, including a 7-2 mark in the two tournaments the Cowboys have played this season with a combined nine games over three days: Tired arms are not a factor.
“They can pitch two, three days in a row,” Smith said. “None of them really fatigue."
For the full story, please see the Wednesday, April 2, issue of the Camp Verde Journal.
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