Polk’s Hrobak perfect versus Mitchell

Published 5:08 pm Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Polk softball’s Jamie Hrobak pitches a perfect game Tuesday versus Mitchell. See “Sports,” page 11. (photo by Daniel Hecht)

Perfect.  An adjective, according to Webster, defined as being entirely without fault or defect.

In softball lingo, a perfect game, according to the rules of the International Softball Federation, is a statistic credited to a pitcher when he/she completes a game and allows no runner from the opposing team to reach first base.

Polk junior hurler Jamie Hrobak was perfect Tuesday versus Mitchell, and yet seemed unimpressed by the magnitude of her accomplishment. When asked how she felt after retiring 18 consecutive Mitchell batters, 16 of them on strikeouts, Hrobak just smiled and replied, “I’m happy,” and then walked back into the home dugout to cheer on Polk’s JV squad.

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Only two Lady Mountaineers even managed to put a bat on a Hrobak pitch, with Danielle Robinson flying out to right in the first and cleanup hitter Cassie Burleson popping out to short in the fifth. The commanding performance gave Hrobak her 35th career victory and improved her record, as well as that of the Lady Wolverines, to 6-1 on the year, and a perfect 2-0 in the conference.

Polk coach Jeff Wilson was a bit more enthusiastic about Hrobak’s achievement, noting that Hrobak’s perfect game was just the second he’d been involved with in his long coaching career.

“I’m just really proud of Jamie,” said Wilson. “She’s a hard-working kid who is loved by her teammates because of how genuine she is.”

At the plate, the Lady Wolverines worked Mitchell pitchers Christina Cormican and Whitney Tipton for eight hits and nine walks on the afternoon. Hrobak led the Polk offensive effort with a single and a double, while Cassie Couch, Brittany Jones, Yancy Pace, Cavin Richards, Casey McDowell and Shayln Brown all contributed base hits to the 10-run, six-inning victory.

The Lady Wolverines face a major challenge today, Thursday, March 24, squaring off against visiting Swain County, the number one ranked 1A team in the state.

“We’ll have our hands full,” said Wilson, noting that the Lady Devils, led by senior pitcher Shelby Parker, average about 15 runs per game and have been to the state championships in Raleigh five years in a row.

“There are three or four teams on our schedule that are really, really good, and for us to be considered really good, we have to beat some of them, and Swain is one of them,” said

Wilson, noting that, while beating Swain won’t affect Polk’s playoff run, the game is an important measuring stick for his young team.

Wilson added that the return of Alyssa Montgomery, Polk’s two-time all-state catcher who has been nursing a sprained ankle, is a major key to his team’s chances this season.

“We need to get Alyssa healthy, that’s a big factor for us,” said Wilson, adding that Montgomery is “used to getting two or three hits a game, and is ready to get back to playing and contributing.”