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High school softball: Keystone Shaw mixes up speeds, gets 10 K’s

Jim Bobel/JBobel@MorningJournal.com
Keystones Kodi Akers, right, is safe at home, beating the tag by Clearviews Elizabeth Janis in the second inning on May 1.

LAGRANGE Lauren Shaw worked on her changeup a lot in practice this week.
As the saying goes, practice makes perfect.
Shaw executed her off-speed pitch to perfection against Clearview, striking out 10 of the 15 batters she faced while not allowing a hit or a walk in Keystones 10-0 mercy-rule win on May 1.
I didnt have the best warmup so I knew that I had to focus more, Shaw said.
The freshman was certainly locked in once the game started. Shaw (11-2) struck out the side in the first inning and struck out two more in each of the third and fourth innings.
She did a great job of staying focused, said Wildcats coach Jim Piazza, whose team improved to 18-2 overall and 10-0 in the Patriot Athletic Conference. There are some things that we worked on during the week and she did a great job of doing that during the game. Her changeup was awesome. When her changeup is working, now you cant sit back on her fastball or curveball. She did a great job of keeping them off-speed.
Keystones offense was anything but that against Sarah Kaya (9-3), whos one of the top pitchers in the area.

The Wildcats the states third-ranked team in Division II collected 12 hits against Kaya, who ran into trouble in the fourth when Keystone sent 10 batters to the plate and turned a 3-0 game into 9-0.
Keystones always a very good team, Clippers coach Denny Myers said. We told the girls how aggressive they were going to be, and they were. We just werent prepared for it. Ill take the blame for that as a coach. We shouldve been more prepared for their aggressiveness and we werent.
That aggressiveness from the Wildcats was put on display early, when speedster Summer Constable led off the game with a walk, stole second and third, and scored on Morgan McNultys single to right.
Two innings later with Keystone leading, 2-0, Constable reached on a bunt single to lead off the inning and stole second before scoring on Sammie Stefans infield hit. Constable reached base and scored in her first three plate appearances, including the fourth inning, where she singled and later scored on McNultys two-run single that extended the Wildcats lead to 6-0.
We had three practices this week that we really got to zero-in on a lot of little fundamentals, which we were able to show out here on the field today, Constable said.
Constable and McNulty, the No. 1 and No. 2 hitters in the lineup, combined for five hits, five RBI and four runs scored.
Thats a really nice combination with that speed, and it puts a lot of pressure on the defense, Piazza said.
Following McNultys two-run single, the Wildcats got an RBI-double from Stefan, followed by RBI hits from Destiny Weber and Carleigh Herrington. Keystone completed the run-rule in the fifth when McNultys single went over the reach of shortstop Taleiya Jackson scored Paige Hartley after Hartley had reached on an infield single up the middle.
It was plenty for Shaw to work with, who handed the Clippers (9-5, 7-1) their first loss in the PAC.
I really havent seen her pitch that much but we knew she was a good, aggressive pitcher, Myers said of Shaw. I think the biggest thing was her changeup, we just couldnt hit her changeup for nothing. She threw a lot of changeups. You dont see as many girls throw that many changeups, so thats something we definitely have to work on.

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