Camas softball pitcher continues wicked pace

Schroeder racks up 41 strikeouts in first 19 innings

"That's just knowing you're better than the batter, and telling yourself they're not going to get first base." -- Katie Schroeder

“That’s just knowing you’re better than the batter, and telling yourself they’re not going to get first base.” — Katie Schroeder

Whether she steps into the pitcher’s circle or the batter’s box, Katie Schroeder strikes fear into the hearts of her opponents.

The Camas High School senior tossed a no-hitter with 15 strikeouts in a 6-0 victory against Prairie. She also drove in three Papermakers with a 2-run home run and a double.

“I don’t get nervous for a lot of things, but today was different,” Schroeder said. “I couldn’t stop thinking about this being my last first home game. From the first pitch on, it was just awesome.”

Schroeder scattered those butterflies with daggers. She struck out nine of the 12 Falcons she faced in the first four innings. She also induced two ground balls and a pop up.

“I was just trying to keep it going,” Schroeder said. “If I let up and started missing my spots, I knew they were going to start hitting.”

Two Prairie batters worked a full count before Schroeder struck them both out.

“That’s just knowing you’re better than the batter, and telling yourself they’re not going to get first base,” she said.

The Papermakers broke through with four runs in the third inning. McKinley Johnson delivered the first hit of the game. Courtesy runner Abby Wong stole second base and advanced to third on a sac fly. Maddie Neely drove her home on a single. Schroeder cleared the right field fence for a 2-run home run. Emma Jimenez added a run-scoring single with two outs.

“One swing of the bat can change the entire pace of the game,” Schroeder said. “After that one hit, they all just started falling.”

The lead off batter for Prairie in the fifth inning hit the ball hard to third. Callie Johnson had the ball in her glove, lost it for a split second, recovered, but couldn’t get the throw off to first in time. She was charged with an error.

Johnson redeemed herself on the next play. The sophomore scooped up a slow rolling ground ball and fired it to first for an out. The next batter popped out. Schroeder then gained her 10th strikeout to strand the only baserunner for Prairie at second.

Jimenez cranked a double to the fence to put runners on third and second base with no outs in the fifth inning. Ellie Clark singled in a run.

Neely led off the sixth inning with her third hit. She came around to score on Schroeder’s double.

After striking out the first six batters she faced Wednesday, Schroeder finished off the no hitter in similar fashion by striking out five in a row. She said it wouldn’t have been possible without the defense in the field, cheering in the dug out and clutch hitting at the plate.

“This is such an important first step in the journey of this team,” Schroeder said. “You play 20 games. If you don’t get off on the right foot, you can’t get to where you want to be in the end.”

Camas defeated R.A. Long 5-1 Thursday, in Longview. Allie Hancock knocked in three runs and Schroeder drove in two.

Schroeder added another 13 strikeouts to her season total of 40 in 19 innings pitched. She encourages the Papermakers to keep working hard on all facets of the game every day.

“We saw how being overconfident last year didn’t turn out so well,” Schroeder said. “This year, there’s going to be no let up whatsoever.”

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