Posted by Beacon Journal sportswriter Nate Ulrich
Lauren McNeil has quickly made a name for herself as the Archbishop Hoban softball team's ace pitcher.
McNeil recorded her fifth no-hitter and her third perfect game of the season in a 6-0 win over Garfield Heights Trinity on Friday. She improved her record to 10-1.
Here is the scary part: She's only a freshman.
"Regardless of what class you're in, when you come in and pitch as well as she has it's extraordinary," Hoban coach Mitch Wagner said. "As good as she's been on the mound, she's just as good of a kid. She's been a good fit for our team. It's been easy for her to come in as a freshman because she's so well-respected as a person."
McNeil struck out 13 batters in seven innings as the Knights improved to 17-1, 12-0 in the North Coast League. Hoban has clinched the NCL title for the third consecutive season. It's also important to note that McNeil struck out 13 and pitched a perfect game against a good team. Trinity is 16-3.
"The thing that makes her so good is that she has a variety of pitches and she can control them so well that she can throw them any time in the count," Wagner said. "She throws a rise, change, screw and they all work consistently. And she can throw hard, too, so she has all the tools."
Hoban defeated Coventry 10-0 to win a Kent Division II sectional title on Tuesday. The Knights advance to play Tallmadge in a district semifinal at 3:45 p.m. Monday at Kent State.
You can bet that McNeil will get the start.