Freshman hurler Helen Hudgens went 3-0, pitching 15 innings, allowing no runs and five hits while striking out 30 batters in three straight wins for the Mustangs last week.
In Thursday’s 16-0 win over Our Lady of Mercy, she threw the first no-hitter in Mount Vernon history, striking out eight in three innings before the game ended because of the mercy rule.
“She has really stepped up her game since early in the season,” Mustangs coach Mike Edmonson said. “Not that she was doing a bad job, but now she’s starting to throw her changeup and a rise and a drop with a lot more accuracy and confidence. She’s really come into her own.”
Hudgens’ “rise” and “drop” pitches make use of backspin and topspin, respectively, in order to go up and down as they approach the plate and fool hitters.
“Now that she’s able to throw those for strikes and really get the batters off balance, that’s really been the difference for her as a pitcher and for us as a young team,” Edmonson said. “She’s starting to fool people and they’re not getting as good contact on it, making the plays easier for our defense.”