Katie Schroeder never dreamed she would pitch so well in her first varsity start.
The Camas High School sophomore didn’t give up a hit to Washougal in the five innings it took for the Papermakers to beat the Panthers 12-0. She also racked up 11 strikeouts. She was only two walks and a hit batter away from throwing a perfect game.
“To get my first varsity start was such an awesome feeling. This is something I’ve worked hard for my entire life, and now it’s finally happening,” Schroeder said. “I didn’t even know I was throwing a no-hitter until the end of the game. It was such a surprise to me. It was not that I did so well, but that the whole team did so well.”
Schroeder credited the Camas defense for keeping Washougal out of the hit column. One of her pitches got drilled into the gap, but center fielder Tori O’Neil chased it down. O’Neil also drove in three runs at the plate.
“Thank goodness she caught that. I had to repay her in some way,” Schroeder said. “It relights a fire in you that started to go out when she hit that ball hard.”
Amee Aarhus and Hannah Welborn each knocked in two runs for the Papermakers. Schroeder helped her own cause at the plate with an RBI. Camas scored four runs in the fourth inning and five runs in the fifth to bring the game to a close.
Harli Hubbard couldn’t wait to follow Schroeder’s pitching performance in the next game. The Papermakers pounded out 16 hits and defeated Estacada, Ore., 13-1 Thursday. Hubbard allowed one run on one hit. She also smacked a home run at the plate. Welborn led the offensive outburst with 4 RBI.
“It was a good snow ball affect. Hopefully we can keep getting better and better as the season rolls along,” Hubbard said. “I’ll definitely remember the enthusiasm that went into that game. The home run kind of topped it all off.”
Camas faced a much tougher challenge against Emerald Ridge Friday, and lost 2-0. Portland State University bound pitcher Meagan Hendrix held the Papermakers to just two hits. She also fanned 17 batters.
“She pitched a great game, got us off balance and we never adjusted,” said head coach Ken Nidick. “You have to face tough teams with good pitching if you want to make it to the postseason. I think we learned more in that one game we lost than the other two games we won.”
Schroeder threw another seven strong innings Friday. She held Emerald Ridge to just one run, while gaining 12 more strikeouts. The other run was unearned.
“We just have to be able to keep the team up. Even if we make a mistake, I have to reassure that everything is OK. There’s still a lot of game left,” Schroeder said. “As soon as you see emotion on the pitcher, the whole team falls apart. That’s why it’s really important to keep the team up.”
It’s Hubbard’s turn to pitch again Wednesday, at La Salle, Ore. Schroeder is scheduled to toe the rubber Thursday, at home, against Mountain View.
“It’s great pitching with Harli. If one of us is getting knocked around, we know the other person can step in there and save the day,” Schroeder said. “I want another shot. It’s a chance for me to prove to myself and everybody else that I belong out here.”
Washougal kicked off the season with a 12-1 victory at White Salmon March 11. Savanna Kepner and Savannah McDowell drove in two runs each for the Panthers. Becca Bennett had three hits, a double and an RBI. Winning pitcher Courtney Shelley gained six strikeouts in three innings. She also knocked in a run at the plate.
Washougal is scheduled to host Evergreen today. First pitch is at 4:30 p.m.