Extra innings slowed down Bulldogs' ace

Sunday, October 26, 2008
CHUCK WU ~ cwu@semissourian.com Notre Dame junior pitcher Lauren Reinagel reacts to a bunt by a Platte County batter during the fourth inning of Saturday's state championship game.

ST. JOSEPH — Notre Dame ace pitcher Lauren Reinagel was cruising like normal Saturday.

She retired the first nine Platte County batters to remain perfect for the first three innings.

Then the Pirates came out swinging in the fourth and scored six runs.

Reinagel struggled in the Class 3 title game. She went six innings, giving up seven runs, five earned, on seven hits. She struck out seven and did not walk any batters as Notre Dame lost 7-1 to Platte County in the Class 3 championship game.

Reinagel pitched the entire 13-inning semifinal Friday against Kirksville. In that thrilling extra-inning semifinal, the Bulldogs beat Kirksville 3-2 to earn a berth in the championship.

Did pitching 13 innings Friday fatigue Reinagel, who had nine no-hitters, two perfect games and had allowed just five earned runs in 27 contests before Saturday's title game?

Reinagel said she did feel sore.

"I knew I wasn't going to have my best game," she said. "I was counting on my defense just to back me up the whole time. That was basically what I was doing because I knew I wasn't going to have my best game."

Reinagel said she used a lot of energy to get through the first three innings without allowing a baserunner.

"I was just throwing my hardest," Reinagel said. "I was straining every muscle in my body just to try to get it across the plate with as much movement as I could. We all were sore coming into this game from a 13-inning game. We would have been a lot more relaxed if we just had time to heal, but we didn't."

The 13-inning semifinal game also seemed to take a toll on Kirksville pitcher Jackie Bishop, who had a 0.32 ERA through district play this season.

Bishop struggled in the third-place game, which was played right after the semifinal game against Notre Dame on Friday.

Bishop allowed three earned runs on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings against Republic.

Reinagel's father, Ray Reinagel, an assistant coach for Notre Dame who calls most of his daughter's pitches, said he knew Lauren was going to have to battle.

"Throwing [13] innings in the cool weather will take a lot out of your shoulder," Ray said. "It will take a lot out of your movement. And she wasn't as crisp as she was last night or previously. I thought hopefully her ball was going to move more than it was. ... But they put the bat on the ball. They came out aggressive."

Notre Dame catcher Alecia Glaus didn't notice a difference in Reinagel's pitches from the third to fourth inning.

"I think she was pitching the same," Glaus said. "I think they just came out with more intensity than what we had."

Lauren Reinagel has posted a 55-2 record in two varsity seasons.

She said her team is lucky to be able to play in the final four and that she will work to get back next year.

"We're very fortunate," she said. "We worked hard. We deserve it [second place]. We put our heart and soul into every practice we've been to and we play 100 percent each game."

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