ST. CHARLES - Kathryn McChristy has struck out batters swinging.
She’s struck out batters looking.
She’s struck out batters all season long.
And lately no-hitters have also become a recurring event.
The Warrenton freshman fireballer flung them back-to-back in the Warriors' 10-0 win at St. Charles West Tuesday and 9-0 triumph at Orchard Farm Thursday.
Against West, she fanned 10 without a walk in five innings and she followed it up by punching out 13 Eagles with one walk in seven frames.
McChristy admitted she wasn’t in the know of first first no-no until Head Coach Chad Berrey notified her of the achievement after the Warriors secured the game’s final out.
“I don’t pay any attention to that,” she said. “It’s a good accomplishment, but I’m more concerned about the team win and I’m glad we were able to get one today.”
Softball observers are paying attention to McChristy though.
“Whenever we come to the ballpark the other team is always talking about her,” Berrey said. “She’s kind of like the freshman phenom. Even the umpire between innings on Tuesday was like ‘Oh my God. Where is she going to college?’ I had to tell him she’s still just a freshman.”
In addition to not allowing a hit, McChristy has struck out 23 of the last 30 batters she’s faced and has racked up double-digit strikeouts in 11 of her 16 starts this year. The 179 Ks she’s accumulated thus far is 33 more than any other pitcher in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. She’s on the verge of breaking Warrenton’s single-season strikeout record of 183 set by Kaylee Anderson in 2016.
“Ultimately, I’m looking for strikeouts, but whatever gets the out,” McChristy said. “I throw the riseball a lot and it has a lot of movement and speed.”
Berrey said the scarcity of no-hitters made Tuesday’s triumph a special one, though that was before McChristy’s second on Thursday.
“I told the girls that in my entire career of playing and coaching I’ve only seen one no-hitter thrown and to have this one come after a tough 3-2 loss at St. Clair Monday was great. What impresses me about Kathryn is the maturity and composure that she holds as a freshman. She’s a team-first player.”
Not to be overshadowed by its pitching, Warrenton’s offense has started to come alive, reeling off at least nine hits in consecutive games.
Against West, senior Katie Carter led the charge with three hits, a double, two RBIs and two runs scored. McChristy helped her own cause with two hits and two RBIs. Avery Tucker and Nicole Disilvester also notched two hits apiece. Hope Roetemeyer singled and walked, Dani Schlager drove in a run and Kylie Carter, Elizabeth McChristy and Hailey Roberts all reached base once on walks.
And at Orchard Farm, Roberts took center stage, slugging the Warriors first home run of the season while tallying three hits and driving in six runs. Roetemeyer, Tucker and Schlager each ripped a double and Laura Hall reached base three times, doubling, walking twice with an RBI.
The victories improved the Warriors’ record to 7-14 and wrapped up their conference slate with an even 4-4 mark.
And while a conference title is out of the question for Warrenton with the St. Charles Pirates already clinching the crown, Berrey’s squad still has the ability to finish strong with Senior Night against Bowling Green coming up on Monday.
“We had fallen away from our offensive game for a while but it’s come around and we’ve looked like a complete team,” Berrey said. “We’re going into our next games with confidence.”