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Pitch Perfect

Avery Hamilton is having a very good season for the Panthers.

Eighth-grader+Avery+Hamilton+has+pitched+two+perfect+games+this+season.
Eighth-grader Avery Hamilton has pitched two perfect games this season.

Eighth-grader Avery Hamilton has pitched two perfect games this season.

Eighth-grader Avery Hamilton has pitched two perfect games this season.

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It’s the bottom of the 7th inning, full count, and all eyes are on Avery Hamilton. The 8th grade pitcher walks to the back of the circle, takes a deep breath, and steps on the mound. She puts the ball in her glove, puts her hands together, and swings her hands high above her head, goes through her arm circle and releases the ball. Snap! Into the catcher’s mitt. Strike! Calls the umpire.

This is becoming a common sight for Avery Hamilton, who has pitched three perfect games this season.

“I think I put a lot of hard work and I’m dedicated to pitching,” said Avery.

After a brief time at catcher, she found she liked the view from the other side of home plate, and she has spent five years developing her talent.

“I like pitching, so I work really hard at it.”

Avery throws approximately 95 pitches per game. That’s only about 13 pitches per inning, which is phenomenal for an 8th grade pitcher. She also throws about 56 mph.

Coach Lori Blade said,  “Avery has good work ethic, and the three perfect games also come from a good defense.”

Every athlete has some kind of pre-game ritual to get their head in the game.

“I do 20 spots and 3 of each movement pitch,” Avery said.

The Liberty softball team jogs, stretches, and throws all together for their pre-game warmup. Then, they do infield grounders and outfield pop flies. Lastly, they hit and bunt.

The softball team did start off to a rainy beginning with 5 cancellations. The girls lost only two games in the regular season, and now they have won their regional and sectional championships, heading to state on Friday.

It’s important to find your passion in whatever sport you play. Players like Avery show that enjoying the game makes them a better player.

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Pitch Perfect