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GarlandBear84
05-27-05, 10:54 AM
High road gets Keller softball team to state



01:37 AM CDT on Friday, May 27, 2005

By RICK KRETZSCHMAR / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News

ARLINGTON Keller third baseman Erin Hinojosa likes what many hitters don't chase: pitches that are high and outside. Because of that, Keller's softball team is going back to the state tournament.



http://www.dallasnews.com/bi/images/clikEnlarge.gif http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/img/v3/05-27-2005.NS_27KELLERthird.GEQ1JREHF.1.jpg LAWRENCE JENKINS/Special Contributor
Keller's Becca Byers is tagged out at third by Burleson's Rowdy Lockard in the fifth inning.

Hinojosa smacked a two-out single in the bottom of the 11th inning, driving home courtesy runner Adria Park for the only run in Keller's 1-0 win over Burleson in the Class 5A Region I final on Thursday at the Workman Softball Complex. Keller (33-2) advanced to the state tournament for the fifth time overall and for the second time in three years. It won the Class 5A state title in 2003. The state tournament pairings will be announced Sunday.

Hinojosa was 3-for-5, with all of her hits coming on similar pitches. Amber Tramp drew a one-out walk in the 11th, and Park ran for her. Alisha Rams sacrificed Park to second base to set up Hinojosa.

"I was waiting for my pitch, high and outside. My other hits were high and outside," Hinojosa said. "This is very exciting. I can't stop shaking."

Keller pitcher Kirsten Shortridge (33-2) went the distance for the win, striking out 16. Shortridge allowed three hits, two in the fifth inning when Amanda Jameson and Tamara Lambert got singles for Burleson (28-9). Burleson did not advance a runner to second base after the fifth.

Shortridge nearly ended the game in the eighth inning, smashing a double off the right-center field fence to send Becca Byers to third base with no outs. Burleson pitcher Sarah Odom (26-7) got out of the jam with two strikeouts, and right fielder Kim Lyons made a diving catch of Rams' foul ball to extend the game.

"I never felt nervous because of the defense behind me," Shortridge said. "It was frustrating when we didn't score [in the eighth inning], but I knew we would eventually come around."

After striking out one batter in last week's regional semifinal win over Southlake Carroll, Odom struck out eight. Aly Presswood had two hits for Keller.

This was the second time Burleson was one game away from the state tournament. The other was in 1997.

E-mail rkretzschmar@dallasnews.com (rkretzschmar@dallasnews.com)

GarlandBear84
05-27-05, 10:56 AM
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/img/05-05/0527keller.jpg

Here is another article that mentions her sparkling ERA this season of .07.

Aces know throwing is only part of pitching


Passion, preparation and confidence just make stuff better


09:15 PM CDT on Wednesday, May 25, 2005

By MONIQUE WALKER / The Dallas Morning News

Justin Northwest sophomore Brittany Barnhill isn't ready to consider herself a top pitcher.

She recorded a 0.34 ERA with 327 strikeouts during the regular season and has helped Northwest go deeper in the playoffs than in any season since 1996.

But when it comes to a complete pitcher, Barnhill thinks of Keller's Kirsten Shortridge, whom she has known since middle school.

"I'm not a pitcher yet, I'm just a thrower," Barnhill said. "I think Kirsten's got that. She's a mature pitcher, and that's great."

Shortridge, a junior, had an area-best 0.07 ERA and 356 strikeouts during the regular season. She has led Keller, No. 1 in SportsDay's Class 5A area rankings, to a 32-2 record and a No. 2 national ranking.

Yet Shortridge, who also is 32-2, rarely ends a game without finding something she could have done differently. Keller coach Moe Fritz said that type of competitiveness is what makes Shortridge dominating.

"Pitchers have to be meticulous," Fritz said. "They become pitchers because they want the ball every single time. I've been lucky to have pitchers that are very competitive and have a lot of composure and are very determined."

Shortridge and Barnhill usually cross paths in the summers while playing select softball.

They also share the same pitching coach, but they are at a different stages in their careers.

Shortridge is confident, while Barnhill continues to be amazed at what she can accomplish. Barnhill became the starting pitcher as a freshman, tallying a 16-6 record and 0.60 ERA. She is 25-6 this season, including the playoffs.

"When it comes to being a good pitcher, I don't think I'm there yet," Barnhill said. "... I surprised myself last year, I was like, 'Where did that come from?' "

Shortridge said she understands the uncertainty that Barnhill has experienced.

"I think at our age, whenever you have the success we have, it's surprising because it's something a lot of people wish for and want to be," Shortridge said. "When you work for it, it's nice to have it. Brittany and I work harder than most people. We both have the passion for the game, and we both look up to each other in that capacity."

Shortridge, who has orally committed to Baylor, said she is rarely satisfied.

In the area round against Allen, Shortridge allowed six hits, the most she remembered giving up in a game all season. Keller won, 4-1.

It was then she realized to have confidence in her teammates such as infielder Erin Hinojosa or catcher Amber Tramp. Shortridge said it is important to know a pitcher cannot do it all by herself.

"You can't win without scoring any runs," Shortridge said. "If I'm not having my best game, the defense is there to back me up."

Barnhill said she tries to do the same with her teammates. As she continues to gain confidence, Barnhill said she looks to area pitchers and those in college to help her develop into the pitcher she hopes to be.

"I just don't' think that I have any room to talk yet," Barnhill said. "I'm still the young one, and I enjoy learning from the girls and their experiences while I have my own at the same time."

E-mail mowalker@dallasnews.com (mowalker@dallasnews.com)

Fozzy Bear
05-27-05, 12:06 PM
Kirsten is absolutely the real deal. She is the prototypical pitcher for Div. I softball: a hard throwing dropball pitcher with great control, termendous movement, and a hard-nosed competitive edge. I do want to say that the DMN writer might want to rephrase the "orally committed" part.

Brittany Barnhill is way too modest. She is an extremely talented young power pitcher. While Kirsten was the prize of the '06 Texas pitchers, Brittany will very much be the prize of the '07 class. I'm hoping that she decides to come to Baylor as well. With the new Super Regional format, teams that have 2-3 reliable starters are rewarded while the old format rewarded teams with one super-ace. Along with Baylor's existing commitments, Brittany Barnhill would be the final piece in what is sure to be the strongest and deepest pitching staff in the country. Additionally, every single one of them can hit and play multiple positions on the field.