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In-game bullpen work pays off for Carroll

– Through three innings, Carroll’s Katy Guebard had given up a short single, had struck out five of 10 batters and was in control of the Garrett hitters.

So what did she do while her teammates were batting? Worked in the bullpen, of course.

“My snaps were off, so I was trying to get them back on,” Guebard said after leading the host Chargers to a 7-0 victory over the Railroaders on Thursday. “Sometimes they drop, and when they drop I know I’m not snapping correctly or not pulling through. I can tell when it’s off, so I usually try to go work on it between innings to help.”

When Guebard went out in the fourth inning, all she did was strike out the side and didn’t finish until recording 11 strikeouts while giving up two hits.

Guebard, who set virtually every season pitching record a year ago in going 20-4 for the Chargers, apparently not only is her team’s best pitcher but her own pitching coach.

“That’s completely on her,” Carroll coach Donnetta Betley. “She’s a very smart player in her pitching and knowing what she needs to do to better herself – within the game and all the time.

“We have complete confidence in her. And she’s really come a long way in her confidence in herself. I totally believe she is one that could lead us in that area.”

Guebard’s ascent has coincided with the rise of the Chargers’ program. Two of the school’s five sectional championships have come the last two seasons, and last year’s team had a school-record 25 wins. Carroll is ranked 16th in the most recent coaches’ poll.

With eight starters (including six seniors) returning this year, the Chargers have set their sights higher than 16th.

“Their goal is to go to state,” Betley said. “That’s their No. 1 goal. We have a lot of expectations for ourselves and that others have put on us.”

The Chargers (4-1) won their third straight.

In the bottom of the fourth, Carroll sent 11 batters to the plate and scored six times off Garrett starter Britmarie Yarian, who to that point had given up just one run on four hits. Emily Cantanzerite had the biggest hit of the inning, a double to deep center field that knocked in two runs. Jackie Phipps, who had three of Carroll’s nine hits, added an RBI single to finish the scoring.