NEW CASTLE —
TAKEN BY STORM
Shaffer quickly made herself known this year, dazzling from the pitching circle by accumulating a 21-3 overall record with a minuscule 0.62 ERA. She added a .471 batting average (11th in the county), six doubles and was county runner-up with 32 RBIs.
Those daunting numbers don’t come as too much of a surprise to Kimmel, who got a brief glance last year of what his star ace was capable of.
“We thought she’d be good. I knew she had a chance to dominate at times, which she did,” he said. “She’s a little faster than a lot of the other kids. I think it was a learning experience for her and it was a good learning experience right until the end of the year. I think she’s going to be really good these next couple of years. She’s going to be hard to handle.”
What may be the most impressive thing from Shaffer’s season is that she threw three no-hitters and a perfect game in games ended early by the mercy rule. She also had two stretches in which she pitched five-straight shutouts.
“Coming into our team after having won state last year and hoping to be successful with our team this year,” Shaffer said was her greatest challenge.
Using an arsenal that includes a challenging curveball and a speedy fastball, Shaffer was able to strike out 199 batters through 116 innings this year.
“I think it was pretty much from her speed,” Kimmel said. “That’s basically it right now. Her size, she has nice size for a pitcher. She can maybe look a little bit intimidating out there. I like her approach because the ball can just seem to explode on you. With the added speed, it’s going to be tough to hit.”
With two more years left and room to grow, Shaffer looks primed to get even better from her second season.
“She’s probably going to be a Division I pitcher if she stays healthy,” Kimmel said. “The way she works at it, she’s very committed. She’s a hard worker. Usually if you work hard at something, you’re going to have success.”
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