WILLIAMSBURG – When asked about Carly Wagers and Kacey Smith, his two starting pitchers, time and again Williamsburg coach Rick Healey will mention how fortunate the team is to have them.
He’ll then add that, at the Division IV level, it’s very good if a team has one reliable hurler. Williamsburg quickly bypasses that luxury with its pair of aces. Their aptitude for controlling a game from inside the circle was on display last weekend when they achieved a feat Cincinnati Reds legend Johnny Vander Meer would be proud of: Wagers and Smith threw consecutive no-hitters.
Wagers tossed the gem April 15 against Amelia and Smith came back the next day to no-hit Ursuline Academy.
“We’ve never played them before so I was a little wary of how it was going to go,” Smith said following Monday’s win against Clermont Northeastern. “It was a pretty good game. We hit really well, too. That takes a lot of pressure off when your pitching. You don’t feel that pressure to strike everyone out.”
“It’s a no-hitter because you have the defense behind you. Our defense it great.”
Knowing that her defense is prepared to back her up puts Smith in a zone in the circle. She doesn’t worry if she misses a spot or two because if the batter makes contact, the odds are good it’s going to be gloved.
By her own admission, she was so locked in and focused that even she didn’t know the situation she was dealing with. Neither did Healey.
“After the game, Mr. Healey said ‘I didn’t realize that was a no-hitter,’” Smith said. “I said ‘Oh, that’s awesome.'”
Smith’s dad came over after the contest and let the team know what they had just accomplished and made sure a photo was taken of the moment. As of April 18, the jury was still out when the last time two different pitchers on the same team pitched back-to-back no-hitters.
“Carly threw so well on hers, too,” Smith said. “It was awesome.”
Both girls are no stranger to missing a lot of bats and having contacted pitches find leather. Smith logged a few no-hitters last year and both tossed perfect games.
Smith know that a game like that doesn’t come around often. Even though she already has a couple, it does little, if anything to diminish the feat.
“It still feels really great,” she said.
After the win against the Rockets, Healey told the team he really likes its prospects heading into the latter portion of the schedule and beyond.
He also told the girls about the necessity to stay focused because other teams are looking to knock them off every time out, or they are happy they don’t see the Wildcats with their switch to Division IV this season.
“We hope for blessings,” the coach said. “That’s all I can say.”