Carroll softball coach Tim Stuewe meant what he said about Lewisville junior pitcher Maribeth Gorsuch. Verbally committed to LSU, Gorsuch was as good as advertised.
She dominated. Gorsuch allowed one run on three hits in a complete-game 3-1 victory in Game 1 of Carroll’s Class 6A Region I area playoff series. Then, she needed to throw only the first three innings in the run-ruled and game-clinching 10-0 victory in Game 2.
Uncooperative weather forced the series to be moved to Argyle. Carroll closed its season at 18-7. Lewisville advanced to the Region I quarterfinals, where it meets Denton Guyer.
Stuewe said last week that Gorsuch represented the best pitcher the Lady Dragons would have seen since the non-district season ended in February. Gorsuch allowed only two hits on Friday. Carroll managed only one hit on Saturday.
No matter how Stuewe tried to prepare his team for what it was about to face, there is still nothing like seeing the real thing. Carroll never had the lead in this series.
“[Gorsuch] throws the ball harder than we have seen and we haven’t seen anything like this in a long time,” Gorsuch said. “I really think the main thing is that velocity gets you out of your element and your pitch selection.
“You’re so worried about the ball getting blown by you that you change your approach. We made some adjustments in the second game. But we were popping the ball up instead of putting it on the ground. There’s a reason why she’s committed to LSU.”
After Carroll had tied Game 1, 1-1, in the top of the fifth, Lewisville used a two-run double in the bottom of the fifth to break the tie. For the most part, Stuewe liked the defense his team played. However, the Lady Dragons just ran into a better arm.
“You don’t take away from the great year we had,” Stuewe said. “To do something we haven’t done in 10 years [win a district championship] is really important. The seniors raised the bar for the level of the program. I think we’re on the verge of being really good year in and year out.”
Looking ahead to 2016
Carroll doesn’t lose much from the 2015 team. The key losses are Nikki Spurria and Gretchen Morgan, the leadoff and cleanup hitters in the lineup, as well starting pitcher Jessica Tunink.
However, Cami Green will provide leadership on the mound. Freshman Lauren Venne saw a couple of varsity innings and may also figure into the plans.
“Lauren’s got potential because she changes speeds well,” Stuewe said. “The velocity will come. She has time to grow up in the next nine months.”
There are three key parts of the team that should have pretty important select summers in junior first baseman Christina Hill, junior center fielder McKenzie Schneider, and junior shortstop Emelia Egel.
Since this is mid-May and the end of school is near, there’s not a lot that can be done with the offseason. However, Stuewe will be using the time wisely to start looking ahead toward 2016 with exit interviews.
“We’re trying to get a state of the player and where they were and where do they go from here,” he said. “This is a transition time for the new set of seniors so they will be put in leadership positions.”