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Kevin Hieronymus

Talk about your hard-luck losses

Lainie Schweickert struck out 23 batters Monday evening against Putnam County. She could have used one more.

The St. Bede ace dueled Putnam County’s Shelby Yepsen (10 Ks) in a 1-1 deadlock through nine innings in Granville. In the 10th, the Lady Panthers pushed across the winning run on a two-out single by Lauren Colby with two strikeouts for a 2-1 win.

Talk about your hard-luck losses.

“Yes it was. I feel bad for her,” SBA coach Bill Prokup said. “We couldn’t get a timely hit. We had runners on third a few times but always with two outs. They played good defense.”

“We just needed to hit at the right time,” Schweickert said.

She had no idea she had that many strikeouts during the game and said it was “awesome to hear that afterwards.” At the same time it was disappointing, to come in defeat.

Schweickert knows she’s always in for a battle when she squares off against PC and Yepsen. Both have worked with the same pitching coaches and have very similar pitching mechanics, she said.

As a curious sports writer and softball fan, I was curious to see how Schweickert’s outing stacked up in the IHSA record books. Her 23 Ks don’t even show up as a blimp on the IHSA radar.

Two pitchers have struck out 38 batters in an IHSA game, both in multiple innings. Karen Marie Pena of Rock Island Alleman fanned 38 East Moline batters in a 22-inning game in 1999. Lemont’s Suzie Rzegocki whiffed 38 Oak Forest batters over 20 innings in 2007.

There have been 19 pitchers strike out 29 batters, all, obviously, in extra-inning games. The IHSA records do not go any deeper.

Schweickert has added her name in the IHSA record books for most perfect games in a season with two this spring, a figure ranked 12th best and shared by 23 pitchers. Two girls have thrown seven in a season.

• On the rise: Flood waters are rising and so are the spring sports cancellations.

On March 28, as reported by the BCR, 111 of the 113 area events had been canceled due to the extended cold/snowy weather. That figure has only continued to rise with the recent rains.

Putnam County High School has seen 16 cancellations/reschedules for baseball and 13 for softball and three cancellations for track. In a word, PC athletic director Dave Garcia said that sum is “unreal.” PC has managed to get in 18 baseball games and 14 for softball, however.

At Princeton, rookie AD Jesse Brandt has had a busy first spring season on the job. For varsity events only, PHS has had 11 baseball games canceled or rescheduled along with 13 for softball, seven for soccer, three for tennis and five between boys’ and girls’ track.

When asked if it was too many to count, Brandt said, “absolutely.”

I couldn’t get a figure from other area schools, but I know their numbers are rising as well.

It’s no wonder the two key words to sum up the 2013 springs season are: “weather permitting.”

The BCR Text Alerts have sure been lighting up many an area cell phone this spring.

• Sign here please: St. Bede senior Lydia Stariha, a multi-purpose standout, will continue her playing career in basketball and softball for Grinnell College for next season. She will have a signing ceremony Thursday the Academy. Congratulations, Lydia.

Kevin Hieronymus is the BCR Sports Editor. Contact him at khieronymus@bcrnews.com

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