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Bolton High’s Kelly Wytcherly has the Lady Bears in position to make the playoffs for the first time in years. Heading into today’s game at home against Alexandria Senior High, Wycherly is 13-10 with an 0.99 ERA.

Photo Courtesy of Bolton High School
4/3/12
Wytcherly's accuracy has Bolton on cusp of playoffs


FROM THE TOWN TALK


Written By: Raymond A. Partch III


Bolton High pitcher Kelly Wytcherly might not have overpowering stuff, but that hasn't stopped her from making opposing hitters look silly this season.


In 23 starts this softball season, the 5-foot-7 senior has given up only 20 earned runs, has a 0.99 ERA and is striking out every fifth batter that she faces. Wytcherly also threw a no-hitter earlier this season against defending Class B state champion Oak Hill High.


"I really just go through every pitch," said Wytcherly, who gave up only two hits in the team's 1-0 loss to Alexandria Senior High earlier this season. "I just go through my progressions and face one batter at a time but it is not all about me. It is really a team effort. If I am doing my best then my team will try even harder out there."


"She is not a dominant speed pitcher," said Bolton coach Ron Vidrine, whose team hosts ASH tonight. "She has good speed but her strength is her outstanding accuracy. She hits her spots really well."


The dominance that Wytcherly has displayed on the mound this season was nearly derailed two years ago. After earning first-team all-district honors and honorable mention all-state honors as a freshman, Wytcherly started off her sophomore season strong but an unexpected injury threatened her pitching career.


As the season progressed, her throwing shoulder began to hurt more and more, becoming so painful that by the end of the season her entire arm would go numb when pitching.


Doctors concluded that the muscles around her shoulder swelled to the point of making her arm go numb. Wytcherly had a difficult decision to make.


"I could have gotten shoulder surgery or go through physical therapy," said Wytcherly, who has a 3.8 GPA and has narrowed her college choices to Louisiana Tech or LSU. "Me and my family chose to do rehab."


"After the decision was made for her to go through with the rehab, we really didn't know what to expect," Vidrine said.


Wytcherly went through the rehab and returned to the team last season, but not as a pitcher.


The Bolton star earned second-team all-district honors playing in the outfield and at first base. The Lady Bears star was content with her role primarily as a hitter, she is a career .540 hitter, and had no plans to return to the mound.


"I actually didn't plan on pitching again," said Wytcherly. "Then during the summer me and my dad starting talking about pitching again. We both knew that I needed to do it."


That didn't mean that it didn't take Wytcherly some time to readjust to her old position on the field.


"The beginning of the season I would go through the early innings and feel some strain and then I would lose control later on," Wytcherly said. "Now I am at the point where I don't feel that strain and I am more consistent throughout the game."


Bolton has definitely benefited from her consistency on the mound. The team, playing back in Class 4A, is on the cusp of returning to the postseason for the first time in years.


With only two games remaining on the season, Bolton is 13-10 on the season and is ranked 11th in power rankings. Not only does it appear that Bolton will be in the playoffs, but the team could also be hosting a home playoff game.


"The whole team is excited about that," Wytcherly said. "Being able to make the playoffs is something that would be a really great experience for all of us."


"We are in a great position to do something very positive for the program," Vidrine said. "But we still have a lot of accomplish and work for this week."

 

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