Archive for Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Tonganoxie pitcher blasts no-hitter past opponents

July 30, 2003

One might wonder if Amanda Albert's pitching arm really is made of flesh and bone.

As the Tonganoxie Braves' primary pitcher, Albert is on the mound most of the time for the local American Fastpitch Association 14U team.

During a national tournament last weekend in Lawrence, Albert hurled 770 pitches toward home plate in eight games.

Like a windmill running on a V8 engine, Albert's arm keeps rotating as though it's part of a machine.

The 13-year-old isn't an extra in the latest Terminator movie, but she does have one mission -- pitching.

Throwing a pitch laced with a wicked spin, Albert excels on the mound. And she was at the top of her game Friday, when she pitched a no-hitter against Highland (Ohio).

"I had no idea, and a guy came up to me and told me I had a no-hitter," Albert said. "I had no idea, but it was pretty cool."

No-hitters are more prevalent in softball than baseball.

In fact, when asked if she had ever thrown a no-hitter, Albert consulted a couple teammates.

One teammate thought she had two or three, while coach and father Pat Albert said she actually has thrown many one-hitters and hurled her first no-no two years ago.

The Hornets managed three baserunners -- two reached on errors and another with a fielder's choice, but nobody on the Ohio squad hit the softball where a Brave wasn't waiting for it.

Albert started in seven of the tournament's eight games. She did come in to relieve Amie Riddle against eventual champion Edna in the only game she didn't start.

Keeping that bionic arm in top condition has involved pitching just about every night to her father. Although the routine can get monotonous, Albert's right arm keeps on plugging away.

But after pitching past the midnight hour early Sunday morning, it was clear that Albert's arm was, in fact, human.

"The last game it hurt a little bit," she said.

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