Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

May 27, 2013

THE WEEKLY CYCLE: Array of pitchers on display in Region

ASHLAND — I'm convinced that girls fastpitch softball pitchers have rubber arms.

The motion, I know, is commonly said to be natural, but it's still amazing to me how durable these girls are.

We have plenty of remarkable softball slingers in this region, but to throw around 20 innings over the course of three days won't be easy or natural at all.

Come Wednesday, both teams in the 16th Region Tournament championship games might have hurlers doing just that. The team who takes it all might need some more depth in the circle (hint: a team from Cannonsburg has that).

Baseball, well, that's a different story.

Three games in three days will be a true test of will, guts, fight, patience and, of course, pitching depth.

Will we have a heroic survivor emerge on the island that lies 60 feet, six inches away from home plate?

Ashland’s Logan Salow stood tall last season, as he battled through nine laborious innings over the course of two days to help the Tomcats eke out a pair of one-run victories in the 16th Region Tournament. He threw 171 total pitches in outlasting Russell and Boyd County.

Maybe somebody can put forth a duplicate dynamite effort this week — that would certainly make it easier for us media folk to vote for a Most Valuable Player. If you hadn’t seen, schools voted for the elimination of the All-Tournament Team this season, and left MVP selection duties to media that will be attending each game.

Considering the importance of every moment of every game, and considering the fact that only one of the eight baseball teams (Lewis County) managed to eclipse 250 runs scored, prime pitching should be on full display during much of this week’s action.

Coaches have mulled over decisions, endlessly playing out different scenarios in their heads while trying to squeeze in a few hours of sleep. Will teams go with their top arm in the first game? Or take the risk of saving him until the semifinals or finals?

Here is the KHSAA breakdown of how much rest a pitcher must have between appearances: 3-5 innings = 1 day rest starting following day; 6 innings = 2 days rest; 7-9 innings = 3 days rest.

In any case, fans should make a point to catch some of these first-round pitching matchups.

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