(Kimballton) With words it is hard to describe the dominance of Exira-EHK pitcher Rachel Smith, so we'll do it with the numbers. Smith pitched a no hitter once again on Tuesday night and struck out 18 CAM batters in the process. Exira-EHK got the 2-0 win and improved to 11-4 on the season.
Smith has recorded a state leading 178 strikeouts this season. Those have come over an 81 and 2/3 inning pitched span for an average of 2.1 k's per inning pitched. At the current pace, Smith is unlikely to catch the single season record of 590 in one season, as she would need to throw 280 innings this year to match the mark held by Paige Stamp of Lisbon in 1996. She is however on track to break the record for strikeouts per game. Smith is averaging 16.18 strikeouts per game and that single season state record is 15.57 per game held by Erica Martinez of Fort Madison in 1999.
In her career Smith, still just a sophmore, has set down 706 players via the strikeout. Her strikeout rate has jumped considerably from her first two seasons. As an eighth grader she struck out 208 batters in 123 innings (56.3%), that improved to 320 strike outs last year in 178 innings of work (59.9%), and this year she has set down 72.6% of the opposition on k's.
Tuesday night's no-hit, shutout performance lowered her ERA to 0.26 this season. Opponents have managed just 21 hits in 299 at bats against her for an opponent batting average of .070. Smith has pitched two no-hitters (against CAM and Grandview Park Baptist) this season to go along with five one-hit performances.