Feb 26, 2014 8:49 PM by Bill Halter
Katie Chenault is doing the same thing at Hancock College as she did at Righetti High School, throwing softballs past hitters. The Bulldog freshman is averaging 1.4 strikeouts per inning and has 10 wins with a 1.28 ERA. Unlike in baseball where pitchers throw once a week, in softball, someone like Chenault can take the mound every game. That's the main reason Hancock is off to a 10-3 start and ranked in the state poll for the first time in 15 years, the Bulldogs are ranked 15th. "I guess the underarm is the natural motion, that's why we can go everyday, like literally we can pitch the next day if we want to. That's what I believe because I don't get as sore as a pitcher throwing overhand" said Chenault who's won two straight Southern California Pitcher of the Week awards.
Chenault has pitched all but 7 1/3 innings for the Bulldogs this season, she's the state leader in wins and strikeouts. She led the Pac-7 League in those categories last season while leading Righetti to a CIF championship. "It just made me a better pitcher because I know how to deal with those situations now" said Chenault who won all five games for the Warriors during their playoff run.
Chenault wanted to go to a four year college and had interest from UC Riverside but she wasn't sold on the Highlanders and reluctantly settled on the junior college close to home. Now she's thrilled with the decision, her teammates are too even if it means they don't get much action in the field. "I feel bad that I strike everybody out and it's kind of like boring but it gives me a sense of accomplishment" said Chenault.
Chenault is also Hancock's cleanup hitter. She's batting .294 with two home runs and nine RBI. The Bulldogs continue non-conference play on Thursday with a home game at the Hagerman Sports Complex against LA Valley (1-6).
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