PELLA -- Mariah Fritz is Central’s workhorse.
“At first, I was kind of worried about it, just because I’ve never really been in a position to pitch both games of a doubleheader,” said Fritz.
Fritz has done that 12 times this season. Nearly 78% of her innings have come in twin-bills.
“It’s honestly grown on me,” said Fritz. “I feel like I could pitch a marathon some days.”
Her marathon came Saturday in the American Rivers Conference Tournament. Over two games, Fritz threw nearly 200 pitches, and went all 14 innings.
“I came out in the sixth inning, when you could tell she was a little tired after the second game,” said head coach George Wares.
“He’s like, ‘What’s going on? You’ve been throwing more balls. Are you getting tired?’” said Fritz.
“She said ‘yeah, but mind over matter. I’ll get through it,’” said Wares. “Then she looked at me, and I haven’t had a pitcher do this very often. She looked at me and said ‘I’m not coming out.’”
Fritz finished. A 3-0 shutout of Coe for the conference crown.
Saturday’s heroics mean Fritz will get to take the circle again. Central stays home to host an NCAA regional this weekend.
“If we keep playing errorless ball, and keep having fun out there on defense, and Mariah keeps doing what she's been doing, I think we're going to go pretty far,” said junior Kaitlyn Andresen.
“None of us have had the opportunity to make it to a super regional or go to nationals,” said Fritz. “I think as a senior, that'd be an awesome way to end my career.”
With Fritz set to pitch, the Dutch will definitely have a shot.
“I want the ball in my hand,” said Fritz. “I know I can do it.”