High School Sports

Young's pitching fools Falcons

BRADENTON - Sometimes Bayshore High coach Larry Peterson will look down to the Bruins' bullpen before a game and wonder when Whitney Young might be joining the rest of the team.

While most pitchers get in and out, of their warm-up session Young, a sophomore, tends to linger. She'll spend as long as it takes to make sure all of her pitches are working, and she knows where they are going.

Forty-five minutes, an hour, whatever it takes, she'll do it.

For Young this diligence is necessary because while she might not be the most overpowering or dominant pitcher, she can make up for it with command and one of the best change-ups in the area.

However long Young spent in the bullpen Tuesday night, she had had it all working as the Bruins defeated Saint Stephen's 10-0. Young pitched four innings, allowing one hit and striking out six.

Her change-up kept the Falcons' hitters off-balance all game, and in a four-out span stretching from the second to third inning, Young struck out four straight batters with her change.

"That's my main pitch," Young said. "It looks like it's coming at (batters), then it curves off and drops. I've been working on it for a couple years now. Ever since last year, I started perfecting it. I felt like I was on fire (Tuesday). It was working pretty good."

Peterson said Young's fastball comes in at about 55 or 60 mph, and the change slows down to 35.

"If she throwing strikes with that, we're in good shape," said Peterson. "It's all about timing."

The Bruins' head coach and Young have a special bond because not only is Peterson her softball coach, he's also her boss. When the Bruins don't have a game or practice, there is a decent chance you can find Young at The Dog House, a local restaurant of which Peterson is the proprietor.

Young does a little bit of everything at the restaurant, and Peterson said she attacks her responsibilities there with the same fervor she brings to Bruins softball.

Young helped herself at the plate as well Tuesday, singling and scoring the team's first run in the opening inning. Bayshore only needed seven hits to score 10 runs as they took advantage of 10 Falcons errors.

Rhiannon Woods had a big night for the Bruins, scoring three runs and going 2-for-3 with three RBIs, including a three-run triple in the fourth.

Though La'tece Luther closed out the game on the mound, Young shifted over to third base where she fittingly assisted on the final out in the game. She can do it all.

"I've been here 10 or 11 years now and (Young) is one of the most coachable players I've ever had," Peterson said. "She's a heckuva athlete and young lady, and I'm immensely proud of her."

Saint Stephen's 000 00 - 0 2 10

Bayshore 131 5X - 10 7 0

WP - Whitney Young. LP - Ashton Whidden. 2B - Rhiannon Woods (B). Team records: Saint Stephen's 5-4, Bayshore 8-4.