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West High no-hits City High as part of sweep

BY MOLLY IRENE OLMSTEAD | JUNE 06, 2012 6:30 AM

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The game ended, and the Trojans cheered. Strangely, however, they were more excited about sweeping City High in a double-header, 2-1 and 9-0, than about their pitcher's outstanding performance.

West High softball pitcher Mackenzie Laux threw a no-hitter Tuesday night. It's Laux's second no-hitter of the season — her first came against Regina on June 1.

Throwing back-to-back no-hitters, "isn't a big deal" for the pitcher, said Trojan catcher Michaela Recker, because Laux is "just that good."

"It was really great tonight, because Laux is a great pitcher," Recker said. "But it's not all that unusual, because she has great nights like this all the time. It's normal for Laux."

The owner of a self-proclaimed "pretty crazy" screwball, Laux also had exceptional control of her drop and rise ball pitches. West head coach Jeff Kelley said he was most impressed with his hurler's pitch movement.

"Everything was working for her tonight, which is also normal," Recker said with a chuckle. "She was hitting all of her spots, and on top of that, all of her pitches were breaking at the right time."

Laux threw 9 strikeouts — two looking and seven swinging. Laux was able to move the ball outside to get ahead in the count, then hit an inside pitch to jam the batters, forcing them to swing and then walk dejectedly back to the dugout.

The senior credited the defense behind her as a big part of her shutout. Her no-hitter against Regina included more strikeouts, but Kelley thought the hurler had better ball control against West.

The infielders made eight ground-ball plays, and Laux was able to keep the ball from leaving the dirt.

"That thing that I was most pleased about tonight wasn't necessarily the strikout count," Kelley said. "It's mostly about spotting up your pitches and letting the defense participate a little bit, too."

Laux's second no-hitter is more special for her, even though her team was able to ramp up the offense and end the game against Regina in five innings on June 1.

"This is another 5A school, and Regina isn't 5A," Laux said. "That was a little easier, you could say. But they have some really good hitters at City, so tonight was different."

Laux only walked one batter — Little Hawk Ashley Duthie, who then stole second. Duthie was the only City player to reach base.

"When you throw as hard as she does and you get as much movement on the pitch as she has, it makes it tough," Kelley said. "She might be one of the top two or three pitchers in the state."

DI reporter Tom Clos contributed to the reporting of this game.

Follow DI Sports Editor Molly Irene Olmstead on Twitter.


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