Cotrell starts season with 1-hit shutout

Strikes out 15 batters as Allentown beats Trenton, 16-0.

By: Kyle Moylan
   Considering she was pumped up for the opener and Trenton was the opponent, every fantasy player in the area should have known enough to pitch Abby Cotrell this past Monday.
   Cotrell was dominant, striking out 15 batters and allowing just a single as Allentown defeated Trenton, 16-0, in a game stopped after five innings by the blowout rule.
   "I was throwing mostly just fastballs and curves because I was blowing it by them," Cotrell noted. "I threw one changeup, which was a mistake. That ended up being their one hit. I should have just gone hard at her."
   Cotrell also had a good day at the plate, reaching each of her first three at-bats. She actually reached her fourth time as well before being called out on a questionable out of the batter’s box ruling. Cotrell also had an RBI and her courtesy runner scored twice.
   As good as she was batting, Cotrell was even better pitching. Cotrell allowed her one hit in top of the third. At that time, in fact, the game was still very much in doubt. Allentown was up just 1-0.
   Cotrell pitched out of trouble in the second and third innings. Trenton was able to get its leadoff runner on in the second when a third strike eluded Allentown’s catcher. That runner would advance as far as third base, but Cotrell got out of trouble by striking out the next three batters.
   In the last of the third, Allentown put the game away with eight runs on just three hits. Five walks, an error and some aggressive baserunning fueled the inning.
   Margaret Ryan, Briana Feloa and Kim Demkowicz all reached to load the bases with no outs. Ryan scored on a wild pitch before Cotrell plated another run with a fielder’s choice. Colleen Keeley and Amanda Szbanz followed with two of the three hits in the inning. Feloa would later single. For the most part, however, Allentown was rewarded for its patience.
   Trenton used three different pitchers and they all had control problems. Trenton pitchers combined to walk 13 batters and hit two more.
   "We had to adjust our at-bats because this was not what we were used to facing," Allentown coach Bob DiBernardo noted. "For the most part, we showed good plate discipline."
   In preparation for this season, Allentown scheduled as tough of a preseason as it possibly could.
   "In the preseason we were playing the best teams in the state," Cotrell noted. "We knew it would be as tough today. We practiced really hard in the preseason. We’re really looking forward to the season."
   Cotrell will be trying to enjoy every minute of it because this is her last go around at Allentown High. Next season she will be pitching for the University of Tennessee at Chatanooga.
   So everyone should take advantage of Cotrell while they can. Make sure to get her name down on those fantasy leagues as often as possible.