Four Aces

Chugiak staff features very capable quartet


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Chugiak pitcher Darion Gobert delivers to the plate during a game earlier this season. Gobert is one of four pitchers Chugiak can call upon to get outs when it begins the state tournament on Friday in Anchorage.

Mike Nesper

The one thing Chugiak softball doesn’t have to worry about heading into the state tournament is perhaps the most important part of the game — pitching.

“We have the deepest pitching of anybody in the state,” head coach Jim Huber said. “That’s to our advantage.”

Seniors Darion Gobert and Jessica Tramp, junior Carly Metcalf and sophomore Katy Bakker have provided Chugiak with a deep rotation all season. And it’s a unique advantage.

“To have four is really unusual — and four that are quality girls,” Huber said. “You just don’t see that very often.”

The benefit is not lost on the rest of the team.

“They’re all amazing,” captain Taylor Bakker said. “I love catching for them.”

Taylor Bakker said she has confidence in every pitcher.

“It doesn’t matter who’s in the circle. We just know they’re gonna do very well,” she said. “It’s a blessing.”

With a bevy of hurlers in their arsenal, the Mustangs don’t have to rely on one ace as many teams do, captain Kacey Brooker said.

“Having four of them, that means we can rotate girls around,” she said.

When they’re not in the circle, Chugiak’s pitchers play vital roles on defense, Brooker said.

“Most of our pitchers are also utility players, which is fortunate for us also so the girls have a break,” she said.

Though teams may have a single pitcher who can throw harder than Chugiak’s best, Huber said, no one has the depth the Mustangs do. And Huber knows how lucky he is to have such a strong pitching corps.

“The circle isn’t really an issue for me,” he said. “To have four girls that you have confidence in in the circle makes a big difference.”

 

Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or mike.nesper@alaskastar.com

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